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KK Bransford named 2020-21 HIGHSCORE Ohio High School Girls Basketball Player of the Year - HIGHSCORE
KK Bransford named 2020-21 MaxPreps Ohio 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.

KK Bransford of Mount Notre Dame (Cincinnati) is the 2020-21 MaxPreps Ohio High School Basketball Player of the Year. The 5-foot-11 junior forward was the key player for the Cougars en route to the Division 1 championship and a perfect 28-0 season.

Bransford powered her way to 21.4 points, 6.4 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 3.0 steals per game while shooting 41 percent from 3-point distance and posting a 2.7 assist/turnover ratio. Bransford also scored eight points in the second overtime of Mount Notre Dame's 57-55 win over Newark in the Division 1 final.

Mount Notre Dame is ranked No. 3 in the country and riding a 72-game win streak. Bransford is regarded as the No. 27 prospect in the Class of 2022, according to ESPN Hoopgurlz.

Each state's MaxPreps Player of the Year will be considered for inclusion in the MaxPreps All-America Team.
Girls high school basketball rankings: No. 21 Valley Vista returns to HIGHSCORE Top 25 after Arizona reverses course on season - HIGHSCORE
Girls high school basketball rankings: No. 21 Valley Vista returns to MaxPreps Top 25 after Arizona reverses course on season
There has never been a season like this one — and hopefully there never will be again.

Though some teams have been able to play a nearly full schedule, others have yet to start, and many key games have been canceled. The result? The Top 25, which always contains a fair amount of guesswork, is even more chancy than in the past. As always, we are sure the 25 we've listed are very good teams, and they deserve full respect for their achievements, but it must be noted that a lot of teams that might have been on this list aren't likely to play.

In fact, No. 24 Chiawana may drop out next week if Washington cancels its season, and California's governing body meets Jan. 25 to determine if the Golden State's teams will even be allowed to play in the spring. And yet, at the same time, No. 21 Valley Vista returned the rankings after the state of Arizona reversed course and allowed the basketball season to be played.

So who knows what's next? We don't, that's for sure, but all credit to the coaches, players and staff who've made it this far, whether they're in the Top 25 or not.

(NOTE: Please update schedules and results on MaxPreps. If there are issues, please reach out to [email protected] for assistance.)

MaxPreps Top 25 Girls High School Basketball Rankings

Record: 11-0 | Last week: 1
A key game against powerful Plant scheduled for Saturday has been canceled. The Highlanders have played one game in 2021. It's hoped the Jan. 29 matchup with Colonial will mark the No. 1 team's return to action.

Record: 0-0 | Last week: 2
Several Washington Catholic Athletic Conference teams have canceled their seasons, but the Mustanges are set to begin play Feb. 3 against Elizabeth Seton.

Record: 11-0 | Last week: 3
A big win Monday over strong Forest Park cements Lions' No. 3 ranking. Next up is a rematch Jan. 26 with a solid Langston Hughes team.

Record: 1-0 | Last week: 4
One of the most talented teams in the country, the Royals have begun league play. There may not be many tests the rest of the way, but at least Hopkins is playing again.

Record: 0-0 | Last week: 5
The Pioneers are set to begin play Jan. 27.

Record: 15-0 | Last week: 6
The Cougars finish the regular season with four games against teams it handled easily the first time around.

Record: 0-0 | Last week: 7
Though the Cadets have been playing as a club team, none of the results are official. It's anticipated St. John's will be able to play as a high school in the near future.

Record: 12-0 | Last week: 8
The Red Knights beat Westminster Christian by four the first time around, so Friday's rematch could be a serious test.

Record: 0-0 | Last week: 9
The Lancers get in the mix Jan. 21 against Raritan, but right now, the schedule calls for only 11 games.

Record: 19-0 | Last week: 10
The Cougars rolled over previously unbeaten Jersey Village 92-31 but Memorial and Cypress Ridge could be more of a challenge. Or not.

Record: 7-0 | Last week: 11
Oklahoma is loaded this year, but so far the Tigers look to the best. But Sooner State fans are already circling Feb. 11, when Classen SAS comes to Norman.

Record: 15-0 | Last week: NR
With wins over Wayne and Reynoldsburg — among others — the Wildcats jump into the Top 25 as Ohio's best. But Pickerington Central is the Jan. 20 opponent, so there's not much margin for error.

Record: 11-0 | Last week: 13
The Redskins play in a local tournament this weekend, and then draws 10-4 Bixby on Tuesday.

Record: 13-1 | Last week: 14
The Eagles get a serious test against 16-1 Plant on Friday, but there are only two more regular season games after that.

Record: 21-0 | Last week: 16
Hoover's game with perennial Georgia power St. Francis was canceled, but with 22-1 Hazel Green on the schedule Saturday, the Buccaneers have another chance to show just how good they are.

Record: 10-0 | Last week: 18
The Tigers have been on a break, but jump right in against 8-1 Father Ryan next Tuesday.

Record: 4-2 | Last week: 17
Next up for talented New Hope is Paul VI on Jan. 28, but it's possible coach Sam Caldwell will find some willing opponents before then.

Record: 12-0 | Last week: 20
The Silverwolves jump two spots, but 10-1 Syracuse, Friday's opponent, will show whether they deserved the bump.

Record: 0-0 | Last week: 19
The Argonauts begin the season Feb. 2

Record: 14-1| Last week: 21
The Eagles' ranking is a reflection of a very talented roster, but to keep it, a Saturday win over No. 23 Duncanville, at home, is mandatory.

Record: 0-0 | Last week: NR
Despite mounting COVID cases, Arizona's high school association reversed its decision to cancel winter sports — which means the Monsoon not only jump back into the rankings, but will play three games in the next week.

Record: 0-0 | Last week: 22
The Vikings plan to begin Jan. 29, and will face an "early" test Feb. 2 vs. Neumann-Goretti.

Record: 19-1 | Last week: 23
The Panthers have already lost to DeSoto once, and now must try to deal with DeSoto's height and talent on the road.

Record: 0-0 | Last week: 24
Even if the Riverhawks are given permission to play, star Talia Von Oelhoffen graduated early so she could start playing at Oregon State — which will make it very hard for Chiawana to hang on to this spot even if Washington allows basketball.

Record: 10-0 | Last week: 25
The talented Wildcats have a fairly easy week ahead, though it's always tough to play three games in that span of time, as Mississippi's best must do.

Dropped out: No. 12 Reynoldsburg (Ohio), No. 15 Sidwell Friends (Washington D.C.) season canceled.
Senior project: Memories from Class of 2020 high school athletes - HIGHSCORE
Senior project: Memories from Class of 2020 high school athletes
Video: Congratulations 2020 Seniors
A tribute to this year's resilient high school graduates.

Gabby Hansard anticipated an emotional finish, but not quite like this.

The senior at Live Oak Classical (Waco, Texas) helped her basketball team win on Senior Night and afterward the squad "shared very kind words," before presenting Hansard with a basketball signed by all her teammates. 

"Of course I began to cry during this extremely bittersweet moment," Hansard said. "And then all of my teammates wrapped me in a giant group hug. I think my coach may have even shed a tear."

She called it her favorite moment of a rich and memorable three-sport prep career.

Hansard was one of more than 400 student surveyed by MaxPreps to reveal their most cherished high school memory that was featured in the above video entitled "Congratulations 2020 Seniors."

MaxPreps video editor Michelle Gaudy produced a lively video that captured pictures, video and words supplied by the student athletes, many of whose senior seasons were cut short by the coronavirus pandemic.

But high school kids, especially prep athletes, are a resilient group. Life lessons they learned on the field can be applied immediately. Like never giving up or giving in.

Kenneth Munoz, a baseball player from Orange Vista (Perris, Calif.) said his life was forever changed with a memorable rally that was his favorite high school sports memory.

"We came back in the last inning with a nine-run rally with two out to walk it off right before sunset," he wrote.
Kenneth Munoz, Orange Vista
File photo by Tom Houston
Kenneth Munoz, Orange Vista
Here are other favorite moment responses broken down by categories:

Travel bonds

"Getting to travel with your teammates to different fields. It would bring everyone closer as a team, even our coaches. The only way you win is being one with your team." Adam Sanchez of Warren (San Antonio) baseball, tennis

"Being on all the late night bus rides heading home from games, laughing at the fun times we had during games and tournaments." Bryce Hamlin of Sands (Ackerly, Texas) football, basketball, track, tennis

"All the bus rides to games in basketball we would all sing and bond." Elbreha Drayden of York County Tech (York, Pa.) basketball, field hockey

Friday nights

"Our pep rallies in the afternoon and going on to our school bonfire behind our football stadium as the football team dances to the school band." Jose Jimenez of Nogales (Ariz.) football, track

"Pep rallies." Madison Blue of Van (Texas) soccer, basketball

"Friday Night Lights." Carson Baker of Skyline (Lehi, Utah) football

Game night

"The atmosphere on game days. I loved getting ready to go to battle with my brothers. No other feeling like it." Cade Lewis of Highland (Hardy, Ark.) basketball, basketball, cross country

"Every time I got on the court." Charles Ward of Fairdale (Ky.) basketball

Personal and triumphant

"Getting my first tackle of the season as a female football player" Vivian Harris of Mira Mesa (San Diego)

"Hitting a walk-off right after finishing my AP research exam presentation." Kyle Wu of Mercer Island (Wash.) baseball

"Scoring a winning goal with 34.5 seconds left." Mac Casper of Catholic Memorial (West Roxbury, Mass.) ice hockey, lacrosse

History lesson

"Kicking a 42-yard field goal in our first win against a rival school in 21 years . ... on my birthday." Rob Myrick of Pinellas Park (Largo, Fla.) football, soccer

"When our class won our first playoff game in 10 years and first one at home in nearly 20 years." Dom Oto of East Allegheny (North Versailles, Pa.) football

"Being the first girl on my high school football team to score a point in a game." Sawyer Mohney of Warren (Pa.) football, soccer, bowling

Short answers, wide scope

"Being part of a team." Zoie Harrison of Colonial Heights (Va.) basketball

"Meeting new people while playing basketball." — Lavon Moore of Samuell (Dallas, Texas) basketball

"Making my first varsity team." Daniel Patino of Mater Academy Charter (Hialeah Gardens, Fla.) soccer

"Playing soccer with my friends."Camryn Garcia of Corpus Christi Veterans Memorial (Corpus Christi, Texas) soccer

"Team dinners." Braden Zickuhr of Arroyo Grande (Calif.) baseball

"Making new friendships on and off the court." Neveah Fernandez of Venture Academy (Stockton, Calif.) basketball, softball, track

Long answers, family ties

"Being part of a football team because we were a real close brotherhood and it shaped me to not just be a great player, but also a respectful man." Hunter Adolph of Philo (Duncan Falls, Ohio), football

"Going through all loses and defeats together as a whole and bonding as a whole team, as brothers." Humberto Sanabria of Far Northeast Warriors (Denver) soccer

"An overall feeling of being a family. Being a part of the softball team was always fun since everything we did, we did tougher. I always felt part of something bigger than just a player on a field playing a game." Kennedy Michewicz of Northridge (Greeley, Colo.) softball

"All the practices that I never really wanted to go to because they all made me so much better and opened my eyes to the hard work that creates greatness."Daryn Batts of Skyline (Dallas) basketball, track
Daryn Batts, Skyline
File photo by Michael Horbovetz
Daryn Batts, Skyline
"I have had my best friends playing with me for our school team since the seventh grade." Abby Hornbuckle of Grissom (Huntsville, Ala.) softball

"Being able to play football and basketball all four years with teams I call my family no matter what." Isaiah Cardenas of Maxwell (Calif.) football

"Playing the game I love with friends that lasts a lifetime, and given the opportunity to represent my school and play in front of all my family and friends." Madisen Duryea of Bradshaw Mountain (Prescott Valley, Ariz.) softball

Saving best until last

"Pitching a perfect game in my last high school game." Northwood (Pittsboro, N.C.) baseball pitcher Tyler Johnson

"Hitting a home run in my last at-bat of my high school career before the pandemic canceled my season." Joseph Galindo of Quartz Hill (Calif.) baseball

"I'm a goalkeeper so I usually don't get to play the field or score, but during my final high school game I was able to do both. ... and I helped my team win. It was a good way to end my high school career." Andy Rapp of Clark (San Antonio, Texas) soccer

"Playing our last game and hearing all the fans cheering for us. It was super crazy and loud." Lauren Wilson of Terry Sanford (Fayetteville, N.C.) lacrosse

"My favorite high school memory was senior night for basketball. It was everything I was hoping it would be." Brandy Thompson-Ruiz of Moon Valley (Phoenix) basketball, softball
High school basketball: David Peavy of Texas state champion Duncanville is 2020-21 HIGHSCORE National Coach of the Year - HIGHSCORE
High school basketball: David Peavy of Texas state champion Duncanville is 2020-21 MaxPreps National Coach of the Year
David Peavy led Duncanville to a second straight Texas Class 6A state championship and the No. 6 spot in the final MaxPreps Top 25 high school basketball rankings. In his three seasons at the Dallas-area school, the Panthers are 90-13 and haven't lost a playoff game. For his efforts, Peavy has been recognized as the 2020-21 MaxPreps National Coach of the Year.

Without an elite senior recruit, the Panthers used balance and stellar defense to finish 29-1 while winning by an average margin of nearly 25 points per game.

Duncanville avenged its only blemish of the season — an 88-85 home overtime loss to Waxahachie on Jan. 9 — with a 70-65 road win over the top seed in the regional final. The Panthers then knocked off Richardson 68-49 in the semis and beat Westlake (Austin) 66-53 for the title. 

If not for the 2020 state tournament being canceled due to the pandemic, Peavy's program could have been bidding for a three-peat. Duncanville was the top-ranked team in the state at the time the season was called off with a 29-5 record.
Duncanville coach David Peavy gives direction to talented sophomore Ronald Holland.
Photo by Robbie Rakestraw
Duncanville coach David Peavy gives direction to talented sophomore Ronald Holland.
The former Dekaney (Houston) coach made quite a debut for Duncanville in 2018-19, directing them to a 32-7 mark and 6A crown.

Those two teams had elite talent with the likes of Jahmi'us Ramsey, currently with the Sacramento Kings, and Peavy's son Micah Peavey, who just transferred from Texas Tech to TCU.

This year's Panthers relied on 6-foot-4 senior guard and Sam Houston State pledge Damon Nicholas Jr., SMU signee Zhuric Phelps (15.2 points per game), 6-8 sophomore forward Ronald Holland (13.8 points, 10.1 rebounds per game) and 6-3 senior guard and Alabama State commit Juan Reyna (13.4 points per game).

Peavy has coached at the high school or college level for 25 years.

Past MaxPreps National Coaches of the Year
2020 – No award given
2019 – Mike Thompson, McEachern (Powder Springs, Ga.)
2018 – Kevin Boyle, Montverde Academy
2017 – Wes Swift, Jonesboro (Ark.)
2016 – Pat Donnelly, U-D Jesuit (Detroit, Mich.)
2015 – Sam Duane Jr., Corona del Sol (Tempe, Ariz.)
2014 – Gary McKnight, Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.)
2013 – Quincy Lewis, Lone Peak (Highland, Utah)
2012 – Danny Henderson, Marcus (Flower Mound, Texas)
2011 – Bob Hurley, St. Anthony (Jersey City, N.J.)
2010 – Ed Azzam, Westchester (Los Angeles)
Peavy's Panthers celebrate the program's fifth state title following a 66-53 win over Westlake.
Photo by Robbie Rakestraw
Peavy's Panthers celebrate the program's fifth state title following a 66-53 win over Westlake.

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