You guys know the deal; it's the end of the year and time to reminisce about the top sports stories of the last 12 months. We have selected five of our favorite athletic moments from the 2011 season and sprinkled in a couple honorable mention items to end the year with a bang. So let's ring in the New Year by giving some love to the top stories of 2011.
1. Mustangs capture NHSI title
Led by former guard Tyrone Johnson (MVP) and current senior stars Michael Carrera (20 points, 13 rebounds) and Justin Anderson (15 points, 11 boards), Montrose Christian outlasted Oak Hill in double overtime to clinch the National High School Invitational crown last April. The win punctuated a 25-1 campaign and helped the team grab the No. 2 spot in the POWERADE FAB 50.
2. Borda goes long
The clip made SportsCenter's Top Plays and earned countless views on YouTube, so how could we not include Matt Borda’s 80-yard goal? The Gonzaga lacrosse standout connected from long range during the Eagles 10-8 victory over Good Counsel in the WCAC finals. The win clinched the second straight title for the Eagles and the play made Borda an Internet sensation.
3. Ronald's record run
Ronald Darby wasn’t about to wait for the start of the fall season to get his name in the headlines. The Potomac (Md.) dual-sport star helped Team USA’s 800-medley relay squad clock a world-record time of 1:49.47 at July’s IAAF World Youth Track Championships in France. Darby, who recorded the nation’s top indoor times in both the 100 and 200 last year, also took home a bronze medal in the 200 in France. He will play football and run track at Notre Dame.
4. Got Guts?
With the Class 4A title on the line, Old Mill elected to go for a two-point conversion to win the game instead of tying the contest and go into double overtime. The move paid dividends as senior tailback Rob Chesson clinched the title with a successful scamper. The championship was the second for the Patriots in the last three years.
5. North Point reps SMAC hoops
No Southern Maryland Athletic Conference team had tasted victory at state in nearly 40 years before North Point's Cinderella run last winter. Naim Muhammad had a breakout season and posted 20 points and 11 boards in the finals to lead NP over Patterson. It was the school's first state tourney appearance and first undefeated season.
1. Cyrus Kouandjio kept folks guessing when he committed to Auburn on national TV, only to sign with Alabama days later.
2. Woodbridge's Isaiah Simmons crushed a 33-year Virginia shot put record with a throw of 68 feet during the indoor track season.
3. Fresh off a 26-goal, 22-assist campaign last spring, St. Stephen's& St. Agnes lacrosse star Brent Armstrong was selected to play in next summer's Federation of International Lacrosse U-19 World Championships in Finland.
We limited our focus to these eight stories, but chime in with your picks for top sports stories in the comments section below. Happy New Year, everybody.
David Auguste is an associate editor for ESPNHS and ESPNHS.com. Follow him on Twitter @ESPNHSAuguste or email him at David.Auguste@espn.com.