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While Football and Volleyball playoffs may be heating up, Basketball season is about to take off. With that being said it's time to look at how teams stack up as we head into the season
**Records obtained from MaxPreps unless otherwise noted
**Games already played have been noted but not taken into account for the rankings
BOYS BASKETBALL RANKINGS
5A-6A: 5A and 6A could be very interesting to pay attention to this year in Austin and San Antonio. Brennan and Westlake take the top 2 spots with Westlake coming off a state semi-final run last year. San Marcos is also a team you will want to pay attention to with a very senior heavy team, this is one that could make some noise this year.
1A-4A: Boerne is fresh off a state semi-final run themselves and looks to take the next step this year. Pleasanton is also a team to watch in 4A and may have its best squad since their Regional Final run in the 2019-2020 season. Meanwhile Cole came up just short last season to Dallas Madison in the State Finals.
Private School: Antonian Prep is the top team heading into the season and will look to make it further this season than last years run. St. Michael's is another team to pay attention to.
GIRLS BASKETBALL RANKINGS
5A-6A: The most interesting team to pay attention to this season will be Cedar Park. While they are back-to-back state champions and just had their 62 game winning streak snapped against Wagner, they are without who would have arguably been their best player in Gisella Maul who decided to forego who senior year to early enroll at the University of Texas where she is committed to play basketball. Meanwhile Clark takes the top spot after their semi-final run last year. A big time game happening tonight? Clark taking on Wagner who has already beat Cedar Park to start the year
1A-4A: Fredericksburg comes off a great season last year and hopes to repeat that this season. One team that will hope to stop them? District opponent Boerne who comes in ranked number 2.
Private School: Antonian, like the boys squad, takes the top spot, and hopes to take home a state title after being state runners up last year. Hyde Park, Geneva, Lutheran San Antonio and Shiner St. Paul round up the top 5.
As evening turned into night both the Acton Academy Eagles and Next Level 360 prepared for tip-off. The excitement from both teams was palpable, the anticipation was building on both sides, and as the energy in the building was hitting its peak, the game begun
Next Level started out strong, scoring two quick baskets before the Eagles could answer with a basket of their own. However, this two-point deficit would be short-lived as Next Level would go on a spectacular run. Steal after steal, forced turnover after forced turnover, Next Level was able to generate a mountain of fastbreak points. And as the dust settled on the first half, the Eagles found themselves down 45 to 12.
In the second half, the game was a little more competitive as the Eagles were able to slow down the Next Level offense. Additionally, as the half progressed, Acton was able to get a little bit of an offense of rhythm going. However, this would not suffice as Next Level did more than enough to maintain their lead, beating the Eagles handily with a final score of 26 to 71.
Overall, Next Level was able to execute well in all facets of the game. They shot efficiently from the field, they did a great job rebounding, they were aggressive driving to the rim, their passing was on point, and their teamwork was impeccable.
On the Eagle side of things, there were some bright spots. As the game wore on, you could see they were getting into an offense of rhythm with more and more players showcasing the ability to get to the hole and get fouled. Even though the shots didn't fall for Acton, they were able to create some high percentage looks throughout the game.
In the end, both teams played with their hearts, and it showed throughout the contest and beyond. Once the game was done, Next Level and the Eagles congratulated each other on a game well played, unprompted by referees or coaches; a perfect way to end such an intense game.