Compiled By Mitch Stephens
1. Mono Can't Keep Down No. 1: Ursuline Academy (Wilmington, Del.) 6-foot-5 senior Elena Delle Donne is so good she can miss 10 games and still be selected the 2008 State Farm/Women’s Basketball Coaches Association High School Player of the Year, according to the USA Today. The University of Connecticut-bound star missed action because of mononucleosis yet still has averaged 30 points and 11 rebounds per game. Delle Donne has led her team to three straight state championships and set a national record by making 80 straight free throws during the 2005-06 season.
2. Warhorses Perfect: With all the pressure the New England Patriots went through this season trying to go undefeated, the Peabody (Alexandria, La.) boys basketball team, a five-time state champion, would have been OK with a loss. No such luck. The Warhorses went through the regular season unscathed, a perfect 36-0, following a 78-36 win over Grant on Friday behind a game-high 20 points from Mychal Horn.
3. Another Nevada Twist: The Kevin Hart recruiting scandal ricocheted yet another direction on Friday when his Fernley (Nevada) football coach Mark Hodges filed a lawsuit against the Lyon County School District for defaming his character. In a report by the Reno Gazette-Journal, Hodges seeks “series damages because Coach is very upset,” his lawyer Ken McKenna told the newspaper. “He’s worked a lot of years to build up his reputation. … and he wants to set the record straight.” Hart admitted he lied about being recruited by several Division I-A football programs.
4. Public versus Private: A never-ending debate in high school sports is how to handle competition between public schools and private schools, which by definition live by different enrollment rules. Many states divide the two entities but not in California. A league in the Golden State is proposing to split private and public schools in postseason play for all of the humongous Southern Section, which features 568 schools (218 private). If it passes, look for this to spread like wildfire around the state. See this story by columnist Eric Sondheimer in the Los Angeles Times.
5. National Defense: On the heels of this superb feature by Sacramento Bee columnist Bill Paterson about its old-school defensive approach, Ponderosa (Shingle Springs, Calif.) went out and put a stranglehold on perennial Sac-Joaquin Section power Oak Ridge with a 50-22 victory Friday to claim the Sierra Valley League playoff title. It was the low total for Oak Ridge, the 2005 state champion, this season and lowered Ponderosa’s points against average this season to 35.0, the seventh best in the country but best among those playing with a shot clock. The teams with better defensive scoring averages are Seneca (WI) 24.95, San Carlos (AZ) 33.27, Cascade (IA) 33.71, Wyoming Seminary College Prep (Kingston, PA) 34.0, Hidden Valley (Grants Pass, OR) 34.30 and Byron (IL) 34.65. Ponderosa (23-3) is the fifth seed in the SJS Division II playoffs, which open Wednesday.
National High 5 is a regular MaxPreps feature, highlighting top national high school news, game stories or human interest pieces from around the web. If we miss something, please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org and/or email@example.com.