High school athletes and coaches across the country are achieving amazing things everyday. In keeping with our goal to make JWS Next the standard for high school sports news, we plan to scour the nation, from coast to coast and everywhere in between, to unearth the stories you need to know.
Every Wednesday, we will shine a spotlight on the best of the best in this space, from across the sports spectrum. This week, we look at some of the biggest things that happened in basketball, wrestling and hockey. As always, please connect with us if you have a story we need to know about.
Harvard-Westlake basketball coach Melissa Hearlihy joins 800-win club
Few high school basketball coaches can claim the level of influence of Melissa Hearlihy, who has presided over the Harvard-Westlake (Los Angeles) program for 37 years. On Saturday, Hearlihy reached a milestone that cemented her legacy even more: 800 career wins.
Hearlihy is the second California coach to achieve the marker, after Kevin Kiernan of Mater Dei (Santa Ana).
The Wolverines beat league rival Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks), 52-37, to clinch the historic number for their coach. Afterward, she posed for photos while donning a white ribbon on which “800” was written in black letters. Amelia Scharff and Jordyn Call led the way for Harvard-Westlake with 15 and 14 points, respectively.
Big night for Coach Melissa Hearlihy from Harvard Westlake! She got her 800th win last night. She is the winningest active female coach in the State. This legend has plenty left so expect many more!! pic.twitter.com/TXvlok8lYN— Charles Solomon (@CoachSolomon2) February 6, 2022
Big night for Coach Melissa Hearlihy from Harvard Westlake! She got her 800th win last night. She is the winningest active female coach in the State. This legend has plenty left so expect many more!! pic.twitter.com/TXvlok8lYN
Hearlihy’s most impressive season at Harvard-Westlake came in 2009-10, when she led the team to a 34-1 record and a state Division IV Championship. Her overall record is 800-292.
The Wolverines (17-12) conclude the regular season Saturday against North (Torrance, Calif.).
Rossview wins Tennessee’s first girls’ wrestling state championship
Girls’ wrestling has grown exponentially at the high school level in recent years, with 32 states now holding sanctioned championships. For girls across the country, that means the chance to make history.
The Rossview (Clarksville, Tenn.) team did just that Saturday, defeating rival Clarksville 39-27 to win Tennessee’s first-ever state dual title. In the final bout, 152-pounder Alyssa Adamo pinned her opponent to seal the victory.
“Proud of them staying together,” Rossview coach Jeff Price told local reporters. “The 5:30 a.m. practices, them not feeling the pressure, and just going out and doing what they wanted to do and having fun with it. They went out and they just wanted it.”
Illinois will hold its first state championship this weekend.
Kenmore/Grand Island hockey completes worst-to-first turnaround
The Kenmore/Grand Island (Buffalo, N.Y.) hockey team did not place limits on itself this season, not even after it finished the 2020-21 campaign in last place in its league.
On Saturday, the team completed the ultimate turnaround, defeating Williamsville 4-3 to claim the Section IV championship. Senior Carissa Buyea snapped a 3-3 tie, scoring the go-ahead goal with 9:29 left in the third period.
“This group of girls, they love each other,” coach Jeff Orlowski told local reporters afterward. “We worked over the summer when optional practices started over in August and they were all showing up because they wanted to be around each other.”
The result snapped Williamsville’s run of three straight championships. Orlowski’s team will play in the state semifinals Saturday.
Josh Needelman is the High School Sports Editor at Just Women’s Sports. Follow him on Twitter @JoshNeedelman.