Jameis WinstonDustin Snipes/ESPNHSJameis Winston of Hueytown (Ala.) was drafted in the 15th round by the Texas Rangers. The nation's No. 1 quarterback is expected to play both football and baseball at Florida State.
The first day of the 2012 MLB draft had a definite high school feel to it with 35 prep prospects getting drafted on Monday, highlighted by Puerto Rican shortstop Carlos Correa going No. 1 overall to Houston and Appling County (Baxley, Ga.) outfielder Byron Buxton following at No. 2 to Minnesota.

But while the first day of the draft was filled with plenty of star power, the last two days featured plenty of intriguing high school storylines. Here were the best of the bunch.

Can I Graduate?

Providence (Charlotte, N.C.) senior right-hander Ty Buttrey created quite a stir when his family revealed he wouldn’t be able to walk with his graduating class. The mix-up occurred when Buttrey, a fourth-round pick of the Boston Red Sox and the No. 25 player in the ESPN 100, skipped graduation rehearsal to negotiate a deal with an MLB team because no cell phones were permitted at the rehearsal.

Apparently, though, it was all a miscommunication, as Buttrey was ultimately allowed by his high school principal to walk with his class, according to WBTV News in Charlotte.

Two-Sport Stars

There were plenty of questions of how far Jameis Winston of Hueytown (Ala.) and Anthony Alford of Petal (Miss.) would fall in the draft because of their football commitments.

Winston, who’s rated the nation’s No. 1 quarterback in the ESPN 150, signed with Florida State is expected to play both football and baseball there. He’s rated the nation’s No. 71 baseball player in the ESPN 100.

Alford, the nation’s No. 95 football recruit in the ESPN 150 and No. 29 baseball prospect in the ESPN 100, signed with Southern Mississippi.

Winston, an outfielder and right-handed pitcher, was drafted in the 15th round by Texas, while Alford was selected in the third round by Toronto.

The Rangers told ESPN Dallas they were hopeful Winston would choose to play for them in the offseason once Florida State’s football season was over, like Russell Wilson did at NC State and Kyle Parker did at Clemson.

Meanwhile, Grant (Sacramento, Calif.) senior Shaq Thompson, a Washington football recruit rated the nation’s No. 3 safety in the ESPN 150, was drafted in the 18th round by the Boston Red Sox. What’s intriguing about that is Thompson didn’t even play baseball his junior year and played sparingly as a sophomore. But Thompson told The Sacramento Bee he plans on signing with the Red Sox, though he’ll still honor his commitment to the Huskies.

Where’s Kyle Carter?

Columbus (Ga.) senior outfielder/left-handed pitcher Kyle Carter enjoyed a phenomenal 2012 campaign, hitting 14 homers and going 12-2 on the bump with a 0.98 ERA and 116 strikeouts in 86 innings to help the Blue Devils to their third straight state title and 12th overall. Columbus is No. 2 in the POWERADE FAB 50.

With a season like that, the Georgia recruit figured he’d go in the first few rounds. But after 40 rounds, he didn’t get drafted at all.

What gives?

Carter told the Ledger-Enquirer that after he wasn’t drafted in the second round, he told teams he was heading to Georgia.

Another player who fell for what is believed to be signability issues is Camarillo (Calif.) left-hander Hunter Virant, who lasted until the 11th round, when he was selected by Houston. Virant is a UCLA commitment.

When asked about UCLA or the Astros, Virant told the Ventura County Star, "The Astros still need to put together some money, so you never know. Right now the only sure thing is UCLA. But it's a win-win no matter what happens with those options."

Injuries and Arm Trouble

A few top prospects fell in the draft due to injury issues, most notably Bishop Amat (La Puente, Calif.) infielder Rio Ruiz. Once considered a potential first-round pick, Ruiz had a blood clot removed from his clavicle this spring and missed most of his senior season. A USC commit, Ruiz was selected in the fourth round by Houston.

Meanwhile, Bolles School (Jacksonville, Fla.) right-hander Hayden Hurst, who had Tommy John surgery as an eighth-grader, lasted until the 17th round, where he was selected by Pittsburgh.

While we're on the topic of arms, the three pitchers we featured last week in our article on high pitch counts Emerson Gibbs of Jesuit (New Orleans), Mitch Sewald of Archbishop Rummel (Metairie, La.) and Willie Nastasi of Barnstable (Mass.) — weren't drafted at all. Gibbs and Sewald combined to throw 347 pitches in a game this April, while Nastasi tossed 155 pitches of his own in one start.

No word whether those high pitch counts scared off teams, but they couldn't have helped.

No Pressure, Kid

There are a lot of expectations heaped on sons of big leaguers. Now imagine you got drafted by the team your dad starred for.

That's what Ryan Ripken is facing. The Gilman (Baltimore) first baseman and South Carolina recruit was drafted in the 20th round by the Baltimore Orioles, the same squad his dad, Cal Jr., delivered a Hall of Fame career for. Ryan hit .377 and was 4-1 as a pitcher this year for Gilman.

Meanwhile, Tate Matheny, the son of St. Louis manager Mike Matheny, was drafted by the Cardinals in the 23rd round. The senior center fielder and Missouri State recruit hit .610 with 11 homers, 51 RBIs and 25 stolen bases this season for Westminster Christian (Town & Country, Mo.), leading the team to a second straight state title.

ESPNHS Baseball Players of the Week

June, 7, 2012
6/07/12
10:02
AM ET
(After games of Tuesday, June 5)

One player is chosen from each region of the country. These are the final ESPNHS Player of the Week honorees for the 2011-12 school year.

EAST

Alex Godzak, Westhill (Syracuse, N.Y.)

The senior left-handed pitcher was dominant in an 8-1 win over Cazenovia (N.Y.) in the Section III Class B championship game. Godzak allowed only one hit -- a sixth-inning double -- while striking out 13 batters and yielding only one walk to avenge a regular-season loss. Godzak, a Canisius recruit who had a perfect game through five innings, improved his season record to 10-1 with an earned run average under 1.00. The win advances the Warriors to the state tournament this week. Westhill won state crowns in 2009 and 2010.

SOUTHEAST

Jimmy Boyd, Middle Creek (Apex, N.C.)

A four-year varsity starter, Boyd led the Mustangs to the Class 4A state title, which also is the first state title in any sport for the school. Boyd pitched a one-hitter with eight strikeouts in a 2-0 win against Hough (Cornelius, N.C.) in the first game of the best-of-three title series. Middle Creek then won the second game 10-4. In addition to pitching, Boyd also reached base four times in the two games. For the season, Boyd went 8-1 with a 0.86 ERA. He also batted .450, including .550 in the playoffs.

MIDWEST

Kevin Ruff, Minooka (Ill.)

The right-handed senior pitcher was perfect in a 9-0 victory over O'Fallon (Ill.) in the Class 4A sectional tournament final. Ruff retired all 21 batters in his first career no-hitter. Ruff struck out just four batters, but allowed only five balls hit out of the infield and depended on team defense in the playoff game. Earlier in the season, Ruff -- who also plays third base and the outfield -- had a one-hitter against Romeoville (Ill.).

MIDLANDS

Turner Larkins, Arlington Martin (Arlington, Texas)

He’s the only sophomore on the roster for Martin’s No. 7 FAB 50 squad, but Larkins pitched like a seasoned veteran when the team topped Southlake Carroll (Southlake, Texas) 5-2 in the third game of a best-of-three playoff series. Larkins keyed the win by striking out 13 batters and pitching out of jams. He improved to 10-0 for the season with a 1.25 ERA. Martin advanced to the Class 5A state tournament for the first time since 1993.

WEST

Luke Eubank, Newbury Park (Calif.)

He didn’t get his fourth no-hitter of the season, but this senior will gladly take a three-hitter at Dodger Stadium and leading his team to the CIF Southern Section Division I title. Eubank, who had eight strikeouts and no walks, was the difference in Newbury Park’s 3-1 victory against Corona (Calif.). Earlier in the week, he closed out the Panthers’ 5-2 win over previous FAB 50 No. 1 Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) with two scoreless innings of relief. For the season, Eubank finished 11-0 with two saves and an ERA of approximately 1.01.

Final N.C. POWERADE baseball rankings

June, 6, 2012
6/06/12
1:57
PM ET
After games on Sunday, June 3

Let's be honest -- when it came to naming preseason state title contenders, Middle Creek and Weddington weren't in the discussion. But both teams are the school of North Carolina now after triumphing in the Class 4A and 3A championship series, respectively, for their first state titles.

Middle Creek got their first state crown in any sport by sweeping Hough behind the play of MVP Jimmy Boyd, who pitched a one-hitter in Game 1 and reached base four times during the two games. As a result, the Mustangs cracked the POWERADE FAB 50 this week at No. 40.

Weddington also rode the impressive play of the series MVP, Alex Bostic, who got the win on the mound in Game 1 and blasted a home run in the decisive second game.

Here are the final rankings (last week's rankings in parentheses):

1. Middle Creek (Apex) 26-7 (1)
Swept Hough to win the Class 4A crown, the school's first in any sport.

2. Weddington (Matthews) 28-6 (2)
MVP Alex Bostic got the win on the mound in Game 1 and smashed a home run in Game 2 to complete sweep of CB Aycock and seal Class 3 championship.

3. Providence (Charlotte) 25-3 (6)
Sat atop the state rankings for most of the season before falling in first round of Class 4A playoffs for second time in three years.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly North Carolina baseball rankings.

N.C. Week 12 POWERADE baseball rankings

May, 31, 2012
5/31/12
12:46
PM ET
After games on Saturday, May 26

The teams that were talked about for most of the season as contenders are not the same teams that remain standing as the state championship series kick off this weekend.

None of the squads that made up the top 10 entering the playoffs (Week 9) are alive, but there's still plenty of good baseball on tap. Middle Creek held off Richmond to advance to the Class 4A state title series against Hough, while Weddington, which cracked the top 10 earlier in the year after beating then-No. 1 Providence, enters its first championship series against CB Aycock. All-State pitcher Alex Bostic leads Weddington with a 10-0 record, 125 strikeouts, 0.98 ERA and seven home runs to go with a .404 batting average.

Here are this week's rankings (last week's rankings in parentheses):

1. Middle Creek (Apex) 24-7 (NR)
Mustangs, winners of 15 of their last 17 games, advanced to Class 4A state title game by beating Richmond in best-of-three series. They will face Hough for the crown.

2. Weddington (Matthews) 25-6 (4)
Reached the Class 3A championship for the first time after sweeping North Buncombe. Next up: CB Aycock for the title.

3. Hough (Cornelius) 23-10 (NR)
Swept East Forsyth to advance to this weekend's Class 4A championship against Middle Creek.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly North Carolina baseball rankings.

N.C. Week 11 POWERADE baseball rankings

May, 22, 2012
5/22/12
5:05
PM ET
After games on Saturday, May 19

The upsets continued in the playoffs, as every team ranked in the top 10 entering the postseason has now been eliminated. TC Roberson was the latest No. 1 victim, as the Rams fell to Mallard Creek in the third round.

Here are this week's rankings (last week's rankings in parentheses):

1. Ashley (Wilmington) 19-6 (NR)
Downed Scotland 5-3; will face No. 3 Richmond on Tuesday for spot in Class 4A East Regional final.

2. Mallard Creek (Charlotte) 19-8 (NR)
Upset previous No. 1 TC Roberson 4-2. Up next: Hough in Class 4A West sectionals on Tuesday.

3. Richmond (Rockingham) 24-5 (NR)
Downed New Bern to set up matchup with No. 1 Ashley in the fourth round of Class 4A playoffs.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly North Carolina baseball rankings.
After games on Saturday, May 12

It's been a tough last three years for Providence. In 2010, the Panthers lost in the first round of the playoffs. In 2011, the Panthers and their big bats fell in the second round. This past week, the state's top-ranked squad again fell in the opening round, this time by the count of 5-3 to Mount Tabor.

South Point, the defending 3A champs who had lost just once all regular season, fell to Asheville, while Ardrey Kell lost to Winston-Salem Reagan.

The developments allowed T.C. Roberson and its 13-game win streak to move to No. 1 in the state and No. 44 in the POWERADE FAB 50.

Here are this week's rankings (last week's rankings in parentheses):

1. T.C. Roberson (Asheville) 25-2 (3)
Rams take over top spot after beating Hopewell to open the playoffs and stretch win streak to 13.

2. Southeast Guilford (Greensboro) 23-2 (4)
Falcons beat Glenn 8-3 and face West Forsyth in Tuesday's second-round action.

3. South Caldwell (Hudson) 23-2 (6)
Spartans racked up 10 runs in the fifth inning to pull away for a playoff win against McDowell.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly North Carolina baseball rankings.

N.C. Week 9 POWERADE baseball rankings

May, 8, 2012
5/08/12
6:58
PM ET
After games on Saturday, May 5

Conference championships, and subsequently, playoff seeding were on the line last week for many teams. Providence sought vengeance for its loss to Ardrey Kell (and the Panthers got it Monday in the SW4A title, after these rankings were finalized), TC Roberson and South Point defended their conference titles and New Bern somehow finished atop their conference despite losing their last two games.

With the playoffs starting this weekend, Providence remains the team beat and is ranked No. 19 in the POWERADE FAB 50.

Here are this week's rankings (last week's rankings in parentheses):

1. Providence (Charlotte) 24-2 (1)
After falling to Ardrey Kell to close the season, the Panthers beat Rocky River and Butler to set up a rematch with Ardrey Kell in the Southwest 4A conference title game.

2. Ardrey Kell (Charlotte) 22-3 (3)
Knights scored big win against Providence last week and are peaking at right time.

3. T.C. Roberson (Asheville) 24-2 (2)
Rams have won 12 straight and haven't lost a home game since 2010.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly North Carolina baseball rankings.

N.C. Week 8 POWERADE baseball rankings

May, 2, 2012
5/02/12
1:04
PM ET
After games on Saturday, April 28

Let's get this out of the way: these rankings were finalized before Ardrey Kell beat Providence in the season finale to take a share of the Southwestern 4A title and snap the Panthers' 15-game win streak.

So with that said, Providence cracked the top 10 in this week's POWERADE FAB 50 at No. 8 and still looks strong entering the Class 4A playoffs. There was also lots of movement in the state rankings, as New Bern and Scotland make their debuts after peaking at the right time. On the other hand, South Point suffered its first two losses of the season while J.H. Rose is reeling after losing three straight.

Here are this week's rankings (last week's rankings in parentheses):

1. Providence (Charlotte) 22-1 (1)
Mike Herbert was strong on the mound and added two double at the plate during an 8-2 win against South Mecklenburg.

2. T.C. Roberson (Asheville) 21-2 (3)
Rams have now won 44 straight at home after avenging a loss to North Buncombe last week.

3. Ardrey Kell (Charlotte) 19-3 (5)
Knights riding 10-game win streak as season comes to a close.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly North Carolina baseball rankings.

ESPNHS Baseball Players of the Week

April, 26, 2012
4/26/12
9:50
AM ET
(After games of Tuesday, April 24)

One player is chosen from each region of the country. The only other criteria is that no player will be chosen more than once during a season.

EAST

John Miraglia, Wilmington Friends (Wilmington, Del.)
The senior right-handed pitcher/shortstop got off to a bad start against St. Andrew's (Middletown, Del.) when the Saints loaded the bases with no outs in the first inning. Miraglia then fanned the next three batters to start a 19-strikeout performance. He also ended with a three-hitter in leading the Quakers to a 1-0 victory. The other two outs were recorded by routine, infield grounders to Miraglia and the first baseman.

SOUTHEAST

Zach Wall, Hayesville (Hayesville, N.C.)
In a game played earlier this week, Wall hit three homers and also went 4-for-4 with eight RBIs to lead Hayesville past Swain County (Bryson, N.C.). The 6-foot-2, 175-pound junior shortstop and pitcher also had a six-RBI game last week and had raised his season home run total to 10 in just 13 games after the monster outing against Swain County. Wall, who also allowed three hits in five innings of pitching in that same game, pitched a no-hitter earlier this season against Murphy (N.C.). He was a Class 1A all-state pick last year and was a preseason all-state choice by ESPNHS.

MIDWEST

Zack Silerzio, Crete-Monee (Crete, Ill.)
The senior right-handed pitcher recorded consecutive no-hit victories last week over Kankakee (Ill.) 10-0 and Rich East (Park Forest, Ill.) 7-0. In the two gems, he struck out 20 batters and walked five while tossing 13 consecutive hitless innings. In his next outing, Silerzio (4-3) allowed five hits in five innings of a 7-3 victory over Bloom (Chicago Heights, Ill.). A Bloom single in the first inning halted Silerzio's no-hit streak.

MIDLANDS

Austin Bentlage, Union (Mo.)
After missing all of last season with a sore arm, Bentlage is making up for lost time. The 6-foot-3, 270-pound senior set a Missouri state record last week by striking out 18 batters in a row during a 3-0 no-hitter against New Haven (Mo.). Bentlage was making only his fifth start of the season. He walked the third batter of the game, then whiffed 18 in a row for the record before the last batter laid down a bunt and was thrown out at first. Bentlage broke the previous state mark of 15 straight strikeouts set in 2007 by Ryan Austin of Hume (Mo.).

WEST

Dylan Cozens, Chaparral (Scottsdale, Ariz.)
As we were finishing this week’s honors, Chaparral grad Paul Konerko of the Chicago White Sox was hitting his 400th career homer and had just moved to No. 48 on the all-time major league list. It’s just one reason we couldn’t resist choosing a player from his high school. Cozens, in fact, just broke Konerko’s school record after smashing a pair of homers last week for the Firebirds in their 19-0 romp past Camelback (Phoenix). Cozens’ two blasts upped his season total to 14 and moved him past Konerko’s previous record of 13. The 6-foot-5, 235-pound Cozens is a transfer from Desert Mountain (Scottsdale, Ariz.) and was MVP earlier this season at the Cleats Sports Classic. He hit two homers in the title game to lead Chaparral past Cactus (Glendale, Ariz.). Cozens also is a defensive end in football and had 7.5 sacks last season. He has signed a football letter of intent with Arizona, but could be coming up the charts quickly as a prospect for the upcoming MLB draft.

N.C. Week 7 POWERADE baseball rankings

April, 25, 2012
4/25/12
12:06
PM ET
After games on Saturday, April 21

In the first six weeks of the baseball season, it's been hard to separate the cream of the crop. Last week, the first five teams have three losses combined.

Things separated a bit in this week's rankings, as JH Rose and Southeast Guilford saw their 15- and 10-game win streaks snapped, respectively. Providence, meanwhile, moved even closer to entering the top 10 by moving to No. 12 in the latest POWERADE FAB 50 rankings.

Here are this week's rankings (last week's rankings in parentheses):

1. Providence (Charlotte) 17-1 (1)
Panthers continue to roll behind strong pitching and play at the plate.

2. South Point (Belmont) 18-0 (2)
Red Raiders are on cusp of securing their fourth Big South Conference title in five seasons.

3. T.C. Roberson (Asheville) 19-2 (6)
Rams will put 43-game home win streak on line Tuesday as they look to avenge a loss earlier this season to No. 10 North Buncombe.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly North Carolina baseball rankings.

Purvis' Perspective: The perfect ending

April, 20, 2012
4/20/12
11:22
AM ET
Rodney PurvisScott Kurtz/ESPNHSESPNHS Student Blogger: Rodney Purvis
Rodney Purvis | Senior | Shooting Guard | Upper Room Christian Academy (Raleigh, N.C.)

Purvis Blog 1 | Purvis Blog 2 | Purvis Blog 3 | Purvis Blog 4 | Purvis Blog 5 | Purvis Blog 6 | Purvis Blog 7 | ESPNHS - North Carolina

Rodney Purvis is the No. 5 shooting guard in the ESPNU 100. A senior at Upper Room Christian Academy (Raleigh, N.C.), Purvis ended one of the hottest recruitments of the summer in late September by picking North Carolina State. He's agreed to give ESPNHS exclusive access to his life and chronicle his thoughts in a monthly blog.

Hey what’s going on everybody, it’s your boy Rodney Purvis back with another blog. I know it’s been a long time since my last blog but things have been pretty busy lately.

I just got back from the Jordan Brand Classic last weekend and that was a great time just getting the chance to hang out with all my bros like Kyle Anderson and Shabazz Muhammad. I’ve known them for a long time now and we all knew that this would be the last time we’d all be together for a while so we just bugged out and had a good time all week.

We got a chance to tour the ESPNU studio in Charlotte and that was real cool too. I met Jimmy Dykes and Dino Gaudio and both of them are really knowledgeable and gave us some great advice.

Of course we got a chance to see Shabazz and Nerlens (Noel) commit. That was my first time being in a studio and watching someone commit so that was different. I know both of them are gonna do big things at UCLA and Kentucky.

It was a blessing to be able to win co-MVP of the (Jordan Brand Classic). That’s what I wanted coming in to the game because my mom bought so many tickets and my family had a big section so I wanted to give them a good show.

It was the perfect way to end my high school career, I just wish we could’ve won the game!

But I had a great time down there in Charlotte all week.

Of course by now everyone knows that my bro C.J. Leslie is gonna be back with the Pack next year. That’s obviously big for us and I’m just glad because we’re really close. I’ve known him forever.

We made it pretty far this season, but I know that we’ll be able to go even further next season. Coach (Mark) Gottfried didn’t recruit any of those players on that team last year and to get them all to buy in to what he was doing was really impressive to me. I’ve already bought in and I know everyone else feels the same way too.

The sky is the limit for us.

I’m still hoping we can get another guy or two. I’m talking to Amile Jefferson and even Tony Parker, even though we’re late in the game.

You never know what those guys are gonna do though. I don’t crowd them. I give them their space and let them make their own decision.

But I always tell them that I’ll support wherever they go. I do feel pretty strongly about our chances with Amile though.

I also want to say something to younger group that’s coming up behind me: Don’t worry about rankings. Don’t pay attention to them at all. Good or bad. That won’t make or break you. That’s just someone’s opinion and it honestly doesn’t even matter. College coaches aren’t worried about that stuff. They just want good players. So work on your game and don’t worry about stuff like that.

Now that the season’s over I’m just trying to develop stronger discipline headed into college. I’m focusing on my books and my training. I get up at 5 a.m. every day and train. I want to be as prepared as possible for my first year.

OK guys I’m gonna head out now, but I appreciate you guys checking out my blog.

Take care.

Don't forget to follow Rodney Purvis on Twitter: @RPurvis_5

N.C. Week 6 POWERADE baseball rankings

April, 17, 2012
4/17/12
5:51
PM ET
After games on Saturday, April 14

Providence continues to establish itself as the team to beat in North Carolina, moving to No. 13 in the POWERADE FAB 50 and having outscored its opponents 119-26 through 18 games. But several other teams are showing that they too are to be reckoned with.

There's South Point, which is 15-0 and looks to be primed for a repeat Class 3A title. There's JH Rose, which is also off to a 15-0 start and always possesses a stable of players who can put together a deep playoff run. And there's Northwest Cabarrus, which appears to be peaking at the right time and has a monster player in Corey Seager.

Here are this week's rankings (last week's rankings in parentheses):

1. Providence (Charlotte) 17-1 (1)
Panthers won their 10th straight, beating South Mecklenburg 15-0. They have outscored opponents 119-26 this season.

2. South Point (Belmont) 15-0 (2)
Beat Forestview in the Gaston County Baseball Tournament, leaving them one win from tying last season's 16-game win streak.

3. Southeast Guilford (Greensboro) 16-1 (3)
Win streak is now at nine games.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly North Carolina baseball rankings.

N.C. Week 5 POWERADE baseball rankings

April, 10, 2012
4/10/12
6:33
PM ET
After games on Saturday, April 7

While the preseason favorites have lived up to the hype, with Providence rising to No. 19 in the POWERADE FAB 50 and defending Class 3A champ South Point simply dominating the competition, there's another team to watch.

Winning seasons are nothing new for JH Rose, but during their 14-0 start, the Rampants have looked downright impressive. They have put up more than seven runs per game and held off No. 8 North Buncombe 5-3 by holding the Black Hawks to just five hits.

Here are this week's rankings (last week's rankings in parentheses):

1. Providence (Charlotte) 15-1 (1)
Panthers beat a tough Charlotte Christian team 5-4 to win the Jack Sink Invitational and maintain their hold atop the rankings.

2. South Point (Belmont) 12-0 (4)
Defending Class 3A champs have given up one run in last six games and shut out half of their opponents.

3. Southeast Guilford (Greensboro) 14-1 (5)
Have won seven straight games.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly North Carolina baseball rankings.

N.C. Week 4 POWERADE baseball rankings

April, 4, 2012
4/04/12
11:59
AM ET
After games on Saturday, March 31

Four teams remain undefeated in the latest top 10, including defending Class 3A state champ South Point and North Buncombe, which at 11-0 is off to its best start in school history. Top-ranked Providence is not included in this bunch, as the Panthers boast a record of 13-1, but after a big win against rival Ardrey Kell, the Panthers are now No. 19 in the POWERADE FAB 50 rankings.

One worthy sidenote: Cardinal Gibbons' junior Robbie Thorburn tied a state record with a hit streak of 14 at-bats. (Key word: at-bats, not games). According to this News & Observer article, the second baseman hit and reached base safely 14 times over 16 plate appearances, with the two outliers being a walk and a hit by pitch. Thorburn's streak, which came to an end March 29, tied him with Kevin Jordan of Jordan-Matthews in the state record book.

Here are this week's rankings (last week's rankings in parentheses):

1. Providence (Charlotte) 13-1 (1)
Mike Herbert's two-hitter helped the Panthers beat rival Ardrey Kell 4-1.

2. South Caldwell (Hudson) 10-0 (3)
Four Spartans had two hits each to help the team beat Hibriten 5-0 and continue its hot start.

3. T.C. Roberson (Asheville) 10-1 (2)
Rams bounced back from their first loss with by scoring 10 runs each in wins against Erwin and Asheville.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly North Carolina baseball rankings.

Montrose Christian rolls past Ravenscroft

March, 29, 2012
3/29/12
7:19
PM ET
video

BETHESDA, Md. -- Instant analysis from No. 2 seed Montrose Christian’s (Rockville, Md.) 64-48 win over No. 7 seed Ravenscroft (Raleigh, N.C.) in the quarterfinals of the National High School Invitational at Georgetown Prep Thursday:

Overview: Montrose Christian, ranked No. 9 in the POWERADE Fab 50, caught fire early, draining three 3-pointers in the first quarter to claim an early 16-7 lead. Montrose forward Justin Anderson had two of his own and ramped up the defensive pressure to help the Mustangs force eight turnovers and keep the Ravens at bay for much of the first half.

Montrose shot 60 percent from the 3-point line in the first half. Then Mustangs went on a 9-0 run midway through the third that devastated Ravenscroft.

The Ravens started forcing tough, contested threes and folding under the Mustangs’ intense defensive pressure.

“We had to get our rhythm back because we hadn’t played in a long time,” said Montrose coach Stu Vetter. “But these guys are strong and they really battled. Our defensive intensity was the difference in the game. We picked up our momentum defensively and that’s what got it done.”

Turning Point: Up just 36-32 midway through the third quarter, Montrose forward Ishmail Wainright caught Yuri Togashi’s missed three off the rim and flushed it with authority, sending the Montrose-heavy crowd into a frenzy. On the next play, the Mustangs forced a turnover and found Anderson in the right corner for the three. Then, after another Ravenscroft turnover, Togashi threw Anderson an alley-oop in transition.

That sequence of events seemed to take the Ravens’ heart.

“Their physicality hurt us,” Ravenscroft coach Kevin Billerman said. “We’d cut it to four, but then they went on that explosion and that made it really tough for us.”

Key Player: Anderson was a matchup problem for the Ravens all night. When they sagged off he drained threes and when they pushed up on him he drove the lane and made plays. Anderson finished with 21 points, four rebounds and three assists.

“Justin’s one of the best players in the country,” Vetter said. “I’ve coached a lot of great players and he’s one of the best players I’ve ever coached. I think a lot of people have overlooked him as far as McDonald’s and Jordan All-American games. He’s one of the best players in the country without question.”

Ravenscroft guard Anton Gill drained two 3-pointers in the loss, tying the Ravenscroft record for career 3-pointers at 106, which had been held by Corwin Davis, who starred at Ravenscroft from 1997-2001.

Key Stat: The Ravens shot just 4 of 21 (19 percent) from the 3-point line in their loss. During the regular season they shot 34 percent and broke a school record for 3-pointers made with 138. The old record was 130.

“We haven’t played a game in 32 days,” Billerman said. “We’ve only had seven practices over that time so that’s rough. We had good looks, but we just couldn’t get them to fall.”

Up Next: The Mustangs will face No. 3 seed Montverde (Fla.) Friday (11:30 a.m. ET on ESPN2) in the semifinals. Montverde, ranked No. 12 in the POWERADE FAB 50, knocked off La Lumiere (La Porte, Ind.) 62-54 Thursday in the quarterfinals.

“They’re a great team,” Wainright said of Montverde. “They really play hard, and I’m looking forward to playing against them.”

Jason Jordan is the basketball editor for ESPNHS. He can be reached at jason.x.jordan.-ND@espn.com. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter: @JayJayESPN.

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