It was the strangest of seasons, but in the end, there is no doubt: Westlake (Atlanta) is the best high school girls basketball team in the country. The Lions went 22-0, won a fourth straight Georgia state title and, most important, took home the title at GEICO Nationals with a convincing performance.
Westlake slides into the No. 1 spot in the final MaxPreps Top 25 and is the 2020-21 MaxPreps National Champion.
There are some very good teams still playing, and some states have yet to even begin, but no team can mount a better case for No. 1 than the Lions no matter what happens the rest of the way.
Previous No. 1 Lake Highland Prep was undone by a torrent of turnovers (28) in a GEICO overtime semifinal loss to new No. 4 Paul VI, which in turn was handled easily by Westlake in the final.
Though junior Taniya Latson
had 31 points in the 70-50 win over Paul VI, the key to the Westlake dominant season was senior point guard Raven Johnson
, who ran the show with aplomb, passing, scoring, rebounding and stealing whenever the occasion demanded it. And senior Snoop Turnage
also played a key role, as her seven blocks in the finals kept Paul VI from mounting any kind of a run.
Latson averaged 23.2 points on the season, while Johnson put up 15.1 points per night and Turnage chipped in just over 10 each contest for the Lions, whose closest game of the season was a 68-64 win Dec. 12 over McEachern (Powder Springs, Ga.). Westlake, which has won 37 straight dating back to last season, allowed 819 points on the year with an average margin of victory of just over 32 points.
Even though Mount Notre Dame, Hopkins, Incarnate Word Academy and Norman all claimed state titles with unbeaten seasons, only Westlake faced serious out-of-state competition and won big games far from home. And of course, Westlake was the only team to win the GEICO Nationals.
Past MaxPreps National Champions
2013 — Riverdale
MaxPreps Top 25 Girls Basketball Rankings
1. Westlake (Atlanta)
22-0 | Last week:
22. Mount Notre Dame (Cincinnati)
Record: 28-0 | Last week: 3
11-1 | Last week:
5. Edison Academy (Detroit)
Record: 10-0 | Last week: 5
7. Norman (Okla.)
19-0 | Last week:
78. St. John-Vianney (Holmdel, N.J.)
Record: 14-0 | Last week: 8
10. Lake Highland Prep (Orlando, Fla.)
19-1 | Last week:
111. DeSoto (Texas)
28-2 | Last week:
1012. Fremont (Plain City, Utah)
26-1 | Last week:
1113. Newark (Ohio)
28-2 | Last week:
1214. Valor Christian (Highlands Ranch, Colo.)
17-0 | Last week:
1315. Princess Anne (Virginia Beach, Va.)
10-0 | Last week:
14 16. Cypress Creek (Houston)
32-1 | Last week:
1517. New Hope Academy (Landover Hills, Md.)
13-3 | Last week:
1618. Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.)
21-2 | Last week:
1719. Rutgers Prep (Somerset, N.J.)
13-0 | Last week:
1820. American Heritage (Plantation, Fla.)
25-2 | Last week:
1921. Hazel Green (Ala.)
36-1 | Last week:
2122. Pius X (Lincoln, Neb.)
25-0 | Last week:
2223. Crown Point (Ind.)
25-1 | Last week:
24. Zebulon B. Vance (Charlotte, N.C.)
12-0 | Last week:
25. Shawnee Mission Northwest (Shawnee Mission, Kan.)
23-0 | Last week: