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2021-2022 Most Impressive Programs

By Samad Hines, 12/26/21, 2:15PM EST

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We are halfway through the 2021-2022 high school season for most of the nation and it has been very interesting on the national scene to say the least. 

We are heading into 2022 and the Christmas holiday has passed. Here we take a look at a few programs who have been the most impressive up to this point in the 2021-2022 high school season. 

These programs have exceeded expectations and now have much higher standards than they had before the season began for them. 

Combine Academy (NC)
Current Record: 9-2

Combine Academy lost about four key pieces from their 2020-2021 high school team that finished ranked in the top-10 nationally and with a 28-3 overall record. The Goats had much buzz coming into this season and were as high as number five in the country during the summer before their loses. Jeff Mcinnis and his staff have still managed to have themselves ranked in the top-25 nationally and playing a national schedule. Key guys now like 2022 PG Jayden Epps (Illinois), 2022 SG A.J. Smith, and 2022 C Patrick Wessler (Virginia Tech) have led the way for Combine Academy this season. The Goats are still currently the number one team in the state of North Carolina and still could see themselves competing for a GEICO Nationals title. 

Gonzaga HS College (DC)
Current Record: 6-0

Gonzaga High School College started their 2021-2022 high school season ranked outside the top-25 national rankings and proved to the nation that was a mistake. The Eagles currently are ranked in the top-25 nationally and sit with a 6-0 record. 2022 PG Devin Dinkins (George Mason) and 2022 F Jared Turner (Northeastern) have been the leaders for this year's team. Gonzaga has already captured a couple high quality wins this season that include a win on the road over Whitney Young (IL) and DMV rival St. Frances Academy (MD). They are certainly one of the favorites to capture the WCAC title this season, one of the toughest high school basketball leagues in the country. 

Cardinal Hayes (NY)
Current Record: 6-0

One of the best teams out of the state of New York, Cardinal Hayes, has earned the national recognition recently after a big time win over top-25 ranked Long Island Lutheran last weekend. The Cardinals feature one of the nation's top sophomore prospects, 2024 F Ian Jackson. Cardinal Hayes currently sits in the top-30 nationally in our latest national rankings. They will certainly have chances to prove their worth with the national schedule they have. The Cardinals will be playing in the Hoophall South, Spalding Hoophall Classic, and NJ vs NY Challenge next month. 

Newton (GA)
Current Record: 9-0

Newton High School came into the 2021-2022 high school season as one of the best public schools in the country. The Rams have always been a consistent basketball program in the state of Georgia. They currently hold a 9-0 record going into the new year and will be an extreme threat come playoff time in the state of Georgia. 2023 G Stephon Castle (UConn), 2023 G Jakai Newton (Indiana), and 2023 F Marquavious Brown (Georgia) headline their roster and lead the pack. The Rams have played a sort of national schedule but are arguably the number one team in the Peach State. Newton is certainly one of the favorites to capture that GHSA class 7A state title, one of the toughest classifications in the country. 

Word of God (NC)
Current Record: 12-2

Word of God Christian did not really have much buzz coming into the 2021-2022 high school season, but after a few roster changes, the Rams have made a name for themselves once again in the state of North Carolina. 2023 PG Freddie Dilione has been one of the nation's top stockrisers and leader of this year's team. Word of God sits at a 12-2 overall record and currently sit in the top-30 nationally. They have a couple impressive wins so far this season and gave one of the Overtime Elite teams their first loss back in October, although that does not count on their record. The Rams will have a chance to show their worth throughout the season and will be apart of the annual and famous John Wall Invitational in Raleigh, North Carolina beginning this week. 

St. Frances Academy (MD)
Record: 13-1

St. Frances Academy has always been one of the nation's top programs on a consistent basis. However, they did not begin in the top-30 nationally coming into the 2021-2022 high school season. The Panthers lost a couple seniors and a few key guys from their top-25 team a year ago. So far up to this point in the season, the Panthers captured themselves a couple quality wins, which includes a win on the road over DMV rival DeMatha Catholic (MD). St. Frances Academy's only loss has come from top-25 ranked Gonzaga HS College (DC). They will be playing in the loaded Chic-Fil-A Classic this week in Columbia, South Carolina. 

Archbishop Stepinac (NY)
Current Record: 4-1

The Archbishop Stepinac Crusaders were not even thought about on the national scene coming into the 2021-2022 high school season. The Crusaders began their high school season with a statement win over St. John's College (DC) in the DMV at the National HS Hoops Festival earlier this month. Patrick Massaroni and his staff have a very impressive and well coached group led by 2022 G Samuel Gibbs, 2022 F Isaiah Alexander, and 2025 PG Danny Carbuccia. The Crusaders have a 4-1 record currently and have done so without their star player 2024 PG Boogie Fland and will be competing in the Chic-Fil-A Classic in Columbia, South Carolina. 

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