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Extending the Season: No Sierra Canyon-Sheldon trilogy, but three fantastic finishes - HIGHSCORE
Extending the Season: No Sierra Canyon-Sheldon trilogy, but three fantastic finishes
Video: Sierra Canyon wins at buzzer
Trailblazers advance to state in dramatic fashion.

The lights at Golden 1 Center, home of the Sacramento Kings, have never shined so bright for a high school event.
 
In each of the past two seasons, the star-studded boys basketball team from Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.) played against hometown Sheldon (Sacramento). The energy and excitement was palpable for the games that capped the CIF's 12-game state basketball championships.

The Trailblazers brought an entourage that included former NBA players and Hollywood celebrities, who sat courtside for all to see.

They are high school basketball's version of the Showtime Lakers.

The hometown fans walked away disappointed each of the past two seasons as the flashy visitors showed more than just a little glitz — Sierra Canyon won each game handily, 76-52 and 75-62. But Huskies were hopeful that with a strong cast returning, including Marcus Bagley, younger brother of Kings' star Marvin Bagley, they would return in 2020 to flip those results.

The Huskies and Trailblazers appeared on a collision course before the coronavirus pandemic struck the country full force last week.

Sierra Canyon, featuring 5-star prospects in Ziaire Williams, Brandon Boston Jr. and Amari Bailey, plus the sons of LeBron James (Bronny James) and Dwyane Wade (Zaire Wade), captured its third straight Southern California regional title in the most dramatic way possible.
This buzzer beater by Ziaire Williams against Etiwanda would turn out to be the last shot of the season for Sierra Canyon.
Photo by Louis Lopez
This buzzer beater by Ziaire Williams against Etiwanda would turn out to be the last shot of the season for Sierra Canyon.
The Trailblazers pulled off a 63-61 stunner over Etiwanda as Williams, a McDonald's All-American, finished off a 13-0 run to close the game with a fade-away, 17-foot swish at the buzzer to set off a wild celebration.

"It was truly surreal," Sierra Canyon coach Andre Chevalier said a week after the shot. "How magical was it for us to just fight all the way back from that seemingly endless hole? And then to win it on that shot by Ziaire. Truly surreal."

Sheldon's path to the Northern California finals was similarly unlikely — perhaps even more so.

One week before the finals, the plug was pulled on the Huskies' season after a student in Sheldon's district was quarantined as a precaution for coronavirus.

Two days of public outcry and political pressure led to top-seeded Sheldon being reinstated, but the Huskies found themselves down eight late on the road in the semifinals against a very determined Dublin squad.

Yet, they fought back to win 65-64, powered by Bagley's 27 points that included an improbable go-ahead shot with 17.5 seconds remaining.

"I'm proud of all of our guys, our team," Bagley told Joe Davidson of the Sacramento Bee. "I'm happy. We've been resilient all year. Learned a lot about our team. We're built for this. That's why this game meant so much."

That win vaulted Sheldon in the semifinals against another team built on great resolve, the Bishop O'Dowd (Oakland) Dragons. Winners of 18 straight games after a 5-7 start, O'Dowd looked capable of derailing the Sierra Canyon-Sheldon trilogy.

The Dragons had one the top freshman in the country, 6-foot-8 14-year-old forward Jalen Lewis, one of the state's top juniors in Marsalis Roberson and Cal signee Monty Bowser, as well as their own motivation.

It was five years ago that Ivan Rabb sank a game-winning free throw with less than a second to play to shock Mater Dei (Santa Ana) in the state final. A book "Dragon Hoops," was supposed to be released on the anniversary of that game, and O'Dowd was bent on repeating the feat.

It would have been a tall order, but O'Dowd was at the top of its game after a decisive 13-point road win over second seed Archbishop Mitty in the NorCal semifinals.

"As far as I'm concerned, this is our last game," O'Dowd coach Lou Richie said after the game. "Tomorrow is not promised."

Turned out, Richie called it.

The morning of the delayed O'Dowd-Sheldon NorCal finals on March 12, CIF Executive Director Ron Nocetti canceled that game and the weekend's 2020 state championship games.

"While we understand this decision is disappointing, we strongly believe that the opportunity to compete in this event does not outweigh our obligation to place the health and safety of our member schools and school communities above all else," he said.

No Sheldon-Sierra Canyon trilogy. No O'Dowd epilogue. No Trailblazers' three-peat.

All three coaches lamented the disappointment — how thrilling it would have been to watch all those talented athletes under the simmering spotlight.

But each coach recognized the bigger picture — health and safety. They also found silver linings in ending on a high note.

Sheldon coach Joey Rollings focused on how his team inspired a community to keep them in the tournament, and how the Huskies reciprocated with a likewise effort, without practicing for three days.

"My kids never quit," Rollings told the Bee's Davidson. "We got to go out on an exciting note. We wish we could play another game, but we can't control that. Our kids seem to understand. They're disappointed, but kids are resilient." 

Richie had a similar message for his Dragons, who featured seven seniors.

"A lot of the kids were very upset," Richie said. "They're hurt. Disappointed. I tried to convey that they had a great season. It's disappointing it ended that way, but don't let things you can't control get you down. Besides that, when we focus on our last game, it couldn't have gone any better. If we played like that in the NorCal or state finals, we definitely would have had a shot."

Teams took their best shot at Sierra Canyon all season, Chevalier said. The Trailblazers had a giant "X" on their back from Day One.

Despite that target they finished 30-4, No. 15 in the final MaxPreps national rankings and won section and regional titles.

"It's always great to win your last game and the way we did was amazing," Chevalier said. "We would have loved to be able and play that last game to try to three-peat as state champion. But sometimes life takes priority over sport. We want our country and this world to be safe.

"All that said, going 30-4 this season, starting in China and going all over the U.S. with a big target on our back is a great testament to who we are as a team. I'm super proud of how they reacted to all they had to deal with, and then to play our best basketball at the end of the season was very special. It is a very special group."
Destiney McPhaul named 2020-21 HIGHSCORE Pennsylvania High School Girls Basketball Player of the Year - HIGHSCORE
Destiney McPhaul named 2020-21 MaxPreps Pennsylvania High School Girls Basketball Player of the Year
Each year since 2006, MaxPreps has recognized outstanding performers in high school basketball. America's source for high school sports continues the tradition to close out the 2020-21 season by naming the top player in each state. Selections are based on team success and individual excellence, in addition to local and state accolades.

Destiney McPhaul of West Catholic (Philadelphia) is the 2020-21 MaxPreps Pennsylvania High School Girls Basketball Player of the Year. The 5-foot-8 senior guard led the Burrs to a 12-4 record and the Class AAA state championship.

McPhaul averaged 20.9 points, 8.9 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 2.4 blocks per game. She had a double-double – 16 points and 10 rebounds -- in the 67-56 championship game win over Mohawk.

McPhaul will play in the Who's Next All-American Game at the George Gervin Center in San Antonio on April 2 and attend Virginia Tech next year.

Each state's MaxPreps Player of the Year will be considered for inclusion in the MaxPreps All-America Team, which is scheduled to be released April 20.
Destiney McPhaul in action during West Catholic's Class AAA state championship win over Mohawk.
Photo by Paul Burdick
Destiney McPhaul in action during West Catholic's Class AAA state championship win over Mohawk.
HIGHSCORE final Top 25 high school football rankings - HIGHSCORE
MaxPreps final Top 25 high school football rankings
Video: Bishop Gorman named Xcellent 25 champions
The Gaels end the season 15-0 and the No. 1 team in nation.

The Bishop Gorman Gaels had one of the toughest non-league schedules we've seen in quite some time and it was no problem for the Las Vegas power.

They beat St. Thomas Aquinas in triple overtime in arguably the best game of the year to cap off their brutal non-league schedule that also included wins over Cedar Hill, Cocoa, Kahuku and St. John Bosco.

They outscored these five opponents 185-75, with four of the five wins by double-digits.

The Gaels enter next season riding the second longest active winning streak in high school football at 54. Win No. 54 came in the Nevada 4A state championship game against a very good Liberty team, and the 84-8 thrashing was probably the best they played all season. It was Gorman's eighth consecutive state title, and also the third straight 15-0 season for the Gaels.

Bishop Gorman has had some great teams in the past but this might have been its best single season. On offense they were led by 4-star Ohio State commit Tate Martell, who finished his senior season with over 3,500 total yards and 62 total touchdowns. Martell finished his career at Bishop Gorman 43-0 record as the starting quarterback. The defense also was lights out this year led by seniors Haskell Garrett and Bubba Bolden, finishing 2016 allowing less than 10 points per game.

MaxPreps Final Xcellent 25 National Football Rankings presented by the Army National Guard
Bishop Gorman finishes the 2016 season as the No. 1 ranked team.
Graphic by Ryan Escobar
Bishop Gorman finishes the 2016 season as the No. 1 ranked team.
1. (1 last week) Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.), 15-0
Season complete. Nevada class 4A state champions.

2. (2) DeSoto (Texas), 16-0
Season complete. Texas 6A-D2 UIL state champions.

3. (3) IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.), 11-0
Season complete.

4. (4) Grayson (Loganville, Ga.), 14-1
Season complete. Georgia class 7A state champions.

5. (5) St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.), 13-2
Season complete. CIF open division state champions.

6. (6) St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), 13-2
St. Thomas Aquinas capped off its remarkable season with a 33-25 win over No. 19 Bingham (South Jordan, Utah) in the Geico State Champions Bowl Series in Frisco, Texas. It was the final high school football game of the season and featured two of the best teams in the country. The Raiders won their 10th state championship in school history, joining Bolles (Jacksonville, Fla.) as the only two teams from Florida to have at least 10 state titles in school history. They also became the first team from Broward County to win three state championships in a row after dominating Plant (Tampa, Fla) in the 7A state final.
Season complete. Florida class 7A state champions.

7. (7) Lake Travis (Austin, Texas), 15-1
Season complete. Texas 6A-D1 UIL state champions.

8 (8) DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.), 13-0
Season complete. Washington Catholic Athletic Conference champs.

9. (9) Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.), 13-1
Season complete.

10. (10) American Heritage (Plantation, Fla.), 14-0
Season complete. Florida class 5A state champions.

11. (11) Roswell (Ga.), 14-1
Season complete.

12. (12) St. Joseph's Prep (Philadelphia), 14-0
Season complete. Pennsylvania class 6A state champions.

13. (13) Saguaro (Scottsdale, Ariz.), 14-0
Season complete. Arizona class 4A state champions.

14. (14) Cass Tech (Detroit), 14-0
Season complete. Division 1 state champions.

15. (15) Centennial (Corona, Calif.), 11-2
Season complete.

16. (17) Trinity (Louisville, Ky.), 15-0
Season complete. Kentucky class 6A state champions.

17. (18) Chandler (Chandler, Ariz.), 13-2
Chandler finished 2016 as one of the hottest teams in the country winning its final 11 games. They were the second to last game this season as they had no trouble with Valdosta (Ga.) in the first game of the Geico State Champions Bowl Series. They won 44-24 behind a strong game from Oregon State bound running back T.J. Green and sophomore quarterback Jacob Conover. Chandler's only two losses this season came against Corona Centennial in its season opener and Mountain Pointe. They avenged the Mountain Pointe loss in the 6A state championship game with a dominant 36-17 win to claim their second state title in three years.
Season complete. Arizona class 6A state champions.

18. (19) East (Salt Lake City), 14-0
Season complete. Utah class 4A state champions.

19. (16) Bingham (South Jordan, Utah), 14-1
Despite losing to St. Thomas Aquinas in the Geico State Champions Bowl Series it was still a great season for the Utah power. The Miners almost made a remarkable fourth-quarter comeback. Trailing 30-0 entering the final 12 minutes, the Miners fell eight points and an onside kick short. Bingham outscored the Raiders 25-3 in the final frame but Aquinas was able to recover the onside kick with under a minute left to seal the deal. Bingham still cruised to a 14-1 record that included winning its third state title in a four year span.
Season complete. Utah class 5A state champions.

20. (20) South Pointe (Rock Hill, S.C.), 14-1

Season complete. South Carolina class 4A state champions.

21. (21) Cocoa (Fla.), 12-1
Season complete. Florida class 4A state champions.

22. (22) Cathedral Catholic (San Diego, Calif.), 15-0
Season complete. CIF division 1-AA state champions.

23. (23) Hoover (Ala.), 12-2
Season complete. Alabama class 7A state champions

24. (24) St. Xavier (Cincinnati), 10-5

Season complete. Division 1 state champions.

25. (25) Aledo (Texas), 16-0
Season complete. Texas 5A-D2 UIL state champions.

Bubble Teams

Union (Tulsa, Okla.), 11-2
Season complete. Oklahoma class 6A-I state champions.

St. Louis (Honolulu), 10-1
Season complete. Hawaii open division state champions.

The Woodlands (Texas), 15-1
Season complete.

Steele (Cibolo, Texas), 14-2
Season complete.

West Orange-Stark (Orange, Texas), 16-0
Season complete. Texas 4A-D2 UIL state champions.
High school baseball: Top 10 MLB Draft prospects - HIGHSCORE
High school baseball: Top 10 MLB Draft prospects
The Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft has been a June fixture for 55 years, since it was first held in 1965. However due to COVID-19, Major League Baseball has moved the three-day selection process to July 11, 12 and 13. The high school baseball season is expected to last, in some states, until the third or fourth week of June.

MaxPreps has identified the Top 10 members of the Class of 2021 who figure to be chosen on the draft's first day. Based on mock drafts and rankings by recruiting services like Prep Baseball Report and Perfect Game, the Class of 2021 is particularly strong at shortstop with three expected to go among the top three high school players chosen. At least three pitchers are also among the top 10, however a high school player is not expected to be chosen with the No. 1 overall pick.
Marcelo Mayer, Eastlake
File photo by Steven Silva
Marcelo Mayer, Eastlake
Top 10 high school MLB Draft prospects for 2021

Jordan Lawler, Dallas Jesuit (Dallas), SS
All signs point to Lawler, a five-tool shortstop, as the first high school player chosen in the draft. Along with the potential to develop into a 15-20 home runs a year slugger, Lawler also has tremendous speed and the ability to stick as a shortstop at the professional level. After a fast start to the 2021 season, Lawler has slowed to a .303 batting average with 13 runs, six RBI and five doubles.

Marcelo Mayer, Eastlake (Chula Vista, Calif.), SS
Like Lawler, Mayer is seen as a player who has a chance to stick at shortstop in the Bigs. Scouts regard Mayer as the best pure hitter in the draft, however, he's also a superior defensive player. The combination of hitting and fielding could push Mayer ahead of Lawler in the draft.

Kahlil Watson, Wake Forest (N.C.), SS
Yet another high school shortstop who has the defensive skills necessary to continue playing the position at the next level, Watson came on strong during the summer. Watson batted just .235 during a five-game season last year, but as a sophomore he hit .578 with 12 doubles and six home runs. Watson is likely to go somewhere in the middle of the first round and could be the fourth or fifth high school player selected.

Harry Ford, North Cobb (Kennesaw, Ga.), C
The highest-rated high school catcher, there are mixed results on whether Ford will go in the first round or not. However, no other high school catcher has been tabbed to go ahead of Ford. He's one of the quickest and most athletic high school catchers in the draft, which leads to the possibility that Ford could move to the field at some point. He's noted for his bat speed and he already has three home runs and two triples in 2021 while batting .290 with 14 RBI in 11 games.

Brady House, Winder-Barrow (Winder, Ga.), 3B
A shortstop for much of his high school career, House likely will end up at third base. He has one of the top bats in the draft. He's shown that early in the season for the Bulldogs, batting .542 with 17 runs scored, three doubles and three home runs.

Ben Montgomery, Red Land (Lewisberry, Pa.), OF
Montgomery could be the top high school outfielder in the draft thanks to a strong arm and ability to hit for power. He hasn't seen any action against high school competition since the 2019 season. Scouts see Montgomery going toward the end of the first round of the draft.

Chase Petty, Mainland Regional (Linwood, N.J.), P
Perry caught everyone's attention when he hit 100 mph over the summer. A possible end-of-first-round pick, Petty also reportedly has an above average slider. Low projection could sour some teams allowing Petty to drop out of the first round.

Jackson Jobe, Heritage Hall (Oklahoma City, Okla.), P
A hitting and fielding prospect prior the 2020 summer season, Jobe has developed into one of the top pitching prospects in the draft. With a fastball that hits 96 mph, Jobe also has a deadly curve. He had eight strikeouts in his first four innings pitched this season.

Andrew Painter, Calvary Christian Academy (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), P
Painter could be the first high school pitcher taken in the draft and he's expected to be the third or fourth overall high school player selected. At 6-foot-7, he's got the mid-90s fastball, but he is also adept at three other pitches. He has 27 strikeouts in 11 innings pitched this season.

James Woods, IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.), OF
Teams looking for powerhitting outfielders will likely look long and hard at Woods. Along with Montgomery, he's among the top prep outfielders in the draft. He has two home runs this season in IMG's 10 games. He could go toward the end of the first round.
North Carolina high school football: Schedule, scores for NCHSAA state championship games - HIGHSCORE
North Carolina high school football: Schedule, scores for NCHSAA state championship games
The North Carolina High School Athletic Association will host eight football state championship games featuring 10 undefeated teams beginning Thursday at the University of North Carolina and North Carolina State University.

Four title games — 1A, 2AA, 3A, 4AA — will be hosted at North Carolina State's Finley Stadium starting Thursday with the 2AA contest between Salisbury (8-2) and St. Pauls (8-0). It concludes Saturday with the 4AA tilt between Rolesville (9-0) and the state's No. 1 ranked team, Zebulon B. Vance (9-1).

The other four championship games — 1AA, 2A, 3AA, 4A — will be played at North Carolina's Kenan Stadium, starting Thursday with the 3AA contest between a pair of 10-0 squads, Mount Tabor and Cleveland. Two Saturday games finish off the championships, concluding with the 2A game between Mountain Heritage (7-1) and Reidsville (9-0).

In all, the 16 teams have combined for records of 140 wins and just eight defeats. All eight games with be broadcast on the NFHS Network.

The NCHSAA was one of 15 states to bypass traditional fall football due to the pandemic. Of the 11 states that played football in the spring, only three opted for playoffs and to crown state champions. Virginia did so last week and North Carolina and Rhode Island wrap up football championships for the 2020-21 season this week.

Among the many standouts in the championship games is Havelock senior running back Kamarro Edmonds, a 5-foot-11, 227 pound senior who has rushed for 916 yards and 15 touchdowns in eight games. He's ranked the No. 16 senior in the state by 247Sports and headed to North Carolina.

Also a basketball star who averaged over 30 points per game this year, Reidsville senior wide receiver Breon Pass is ranked the state No. 28 senior recruit overall after catching 83 passes for more than 1,400 yards and 27 touchdowns in his career heading into this season.
Havelock senior running back Kamarro Edmonds has signed to the University of North Carolina.
File photo by Carin-Goodall Gosnell
Havelock senior running back Kamarro Edmonds has signed to the University of North Carolina.
NCHSAA Football Championships

1A
Full bracket can be found here - 2020-2021 Football Championships 1A