2023 G Bronny James of Sierra Canyon (CA) photo by Mark J. Rebilas
June has come upon us and we are just a few months away from the start of the 2021-2022 high school season in October for some states. We definitely hope everything goes back to normal after COVID-19 got the best of us last season.
A few matchups are set for next season already and they all should be "APPOINTMENT TV" type of matchups. We know top tier annual national events like the Holiday Hoopsgiving, Thanksgiving Hoopfest, KD Hoopfest Series, City of Palms Classic, Spalding Hoophall Classic, and others are set to return.
We already know that Bishop O'Dowd (CA) and Camden (NJ) are set to play at the Spalding Hoophall Classic in January 2022 and Duncanville (TX) and Montverde Academy (FL) are set to play at the Hoophall West in December. Below we take a look at a few more top tier matchups we can expect for the 2021-2022 high school season.
Oak Hill Academy (VA) vs Greensboro Day (NC)
Two of the greatest high school head coaches of all time are expected to face off early in the 2021-2022 high school season coming this winter. Oak Hill Academy's Steve Smith verse Greensboro Day's Freddy Johnson. Both have combined for over 2,000 wins over the course of a few decades. These two legends are expected to face off in North Carolina on November 13th as part of the Phenom Hoops Battle of the Goats event. Both programs are coming into the 2021-2022 high school season ranked in the top-25 nationally. This will be a very early test for both teams as they are expected to play national schedules throughout their entire season. Steve Smith holds a 1,199-87 overall record at Oak Hill Academy while Freddy Johnson holds a 1,104-306 overall record at Greensboro Day. This should be a good one with multiple top prospects on display.
IMG Academy (FL) vs Montverde Academy (FL)
These two national powerhouses have been going at each other's neck's for the last few year's and both have sort of become "rivals" in the world of high school basketball. IMG Academy and Montverde Academy have been playing every season since the 2018-2019 season. Montverde currently leads the series right now and yes, both programs are expected to meet once again during the 2021-2022 high school season. These two powerhouse programs will meet at the famous and annual Spalding Hoophall Classic in Springfield, Mass during MLK weekend. It is not confirmed if that will be their first time meeting one another since the 2020-2021 high school season as both programs have competed in the famous City of Palms Classic in Fort Myers, Florida in December in the past and usually meet in the championship. It is unclear if IMG and Montverde are in this year's City of Palms Classic field but they are currently ranked as the number one and two teams in the country as of today. This matchup will also host as an NIBC league game. As always, next year's matchup should be a "MUST-SEE TV" type game.
St. Vincent-St. Mary (OH) vs Sierra Canyon (CA)
Arguably one of the most important matchups during the 2021-2022 high school season, St. Vincent-St. Mary (OH) will travel out West to face West Coast powerhouse Sierra Canyon on December 4th. St. Vincent-St. Mary is the alum of Los Angeles Laker, the Lebron James. We all know LBJ went to high school at St. Vincent-St. Mary in Akron, Ohio and his son, Bronny James Jr., attends powerhouse Sierra Canyon. These two programs have met once before, back during Bronny's freshmen season in 2019-2020, in Akron, Ohio where Sierra Canyon took the win and Bronny hitting the game winning layup and receiving MVP honors. These two are expected to play in the Staples Center, home of the Los Angeles Lakes and Los Angeles Clippers. The event for now does not have an actual name, but it is a one night event that will feature Lebron James sponsored programs and Sierra Canyon, where his son plays. The Irish are coming off their state championship season while Sierra Canyon is expected to be a top-25 program nationally coming into the 2021-2022 high school season.
AZ Compass Prep (AZ) vs. La Lumiere (IN)
AZ Compass verse La Lumiere matchup will be a top-10 and possibly top-5 matchup as of right now coming into the 2021-2022 high school season. AZ Compass prep put the country on notice during the 2020-2021 high school season after ranking in the top-10 for most of the season, winning the Grind Session World Championships, and making a GEICO Nationals appearance. The Dragons are not ducking any smoke coming into this upcoming season and are expected to play a plethora of top-25 programs. This matchup against La Lumiere will also take place during MLK weekend in Springfield, Mass at the Spalding Hoophall Classic. La Lumiere is set to be ranked at least in the top-5 nationally coming into the 2021-2022 high school season. The Lakers had a weird year last season due to the COVID-19 pandemic but still managed to make their way to the GEICO Nationals. Expect over at least a dozen next level prospects to be playing in this matchup next January.
Whitney Young (IL) vs Milton (GA)
A sneaky good top-25 matchup we can expect during the 2021-2022 high school season? Chicago powerhouse Whitney Young against one of the best teams in the state of Georgia the last few years. These two legendary programs are scheduled to meet during MLK weekend at the famous and annual Spalding Hoophall Classic in Springfield, Mass next January. Milton, the defending GHSA class 7A state champions, are expected to be at least ranked in the top-10 nationally coming into next season. The Eagles will be playing a very tough national schedule next season and will come into this one after playing in the Bass Pro TOC in Springfield, Missouri. Whitney Young's season was cut short lsat season due to COVID-19, but the Dolphins are expected to return most of their roster and will be ranked as a top-25 program coming in. A plethora of next level and highly rated prospects are going to be on display in this matchup. A Chicago verse Atlanta high school hoops battle will be in store.
Sunrise Christian (KS) vs La Lumiere (IN)
This top-25 matchup here between two powerhouse national programs will be played as an NIBC game, the new league that was formed before the 2020-2021 high school season. La Lumiere and Sunrise Christian are two of the top consistent powerhouse programs that we look forward to watching every year. These two are scheduled to meet on Saturday December 11th in Dallas, Texas as part of the Kevin Durant National Hoopfest. This game is also expected to be broadcasted live on one of the ESPN networks. As you know, La Lumiere will be coming into the 2021-2022 high school season at least ranked in the top-5 nationally. They will be bringing back just about their entire roster from just a year ago. As for Sunrise Christian, they will begin the 2021-2022 high school season ranked somewhere in the top-25 and are currently rebuilding their roster as they have lost a few key seniors from last season's squad. This matchup here will be one to keep an eye on for sure next season and GEICO implications will definitely be on the line in this one.
Crestwood Prep (CAN) vs iSchool Lewisville (TX)
Another intriguing matchup we should look forward to during MLK weekend? Crestwood Prep out of Canada against iSchool Lewisville out of the Dallas, Texas area. iSchool Lewisville will be playing one of the toughest schedules in the country out of any top-25 program coming into the 2021-2022 high school season. The Cougars should have one of the best backcourts in the nation with arguably the top scorer in the class, 2022 SG Keyonte George, and 2022 G Arterio Morris. They will begin the season ranked in the top-25 somewhere. Crestwood Prep is a program that features one of the best 2023 prospects out of Canada, Elijah Fisher. No season last year for Crestwood Prep as COVID-19 ruined their basketball season and youth sports. These two schools are expected to meet sometime during MLK weekend in Springfield, Mass as part of the Spalding Hoophall Classic.
Combine Academy (NC) vs Centerville (OH)
This matchup here is expected to take place in Dayton, Ohio on January 16th as part of the Flyin to the Hoop Showcase event. Combine Academy has built their program from the bottom up and has become one of the nation's top growing basketball programs under Jeff McInnis. The Goats are a combined 54-10 since their debut and have played some of the nation's best programs the last two seasons. They are expected to begin the season at least ranked in the top-10 nationally and will play another tough national schedule. Centerville will be coming in as one of the best basketball programs in the state of Ohio once again for the 2021-2022 high school season. After winning a state title last season, the Elks are expected to play a national schedule for next year and is expected to face a top-25 ranked Combine Academy program. This matchup here will feature two of the country's top point guards. 2023 PG Robert Dillingham of Combine Academy verse 2023 PG Gabe Cupps of Centerville.