FORT MYERS, Fla. –
Three teams advanced Monday to the semifinals of the 39th annual City of Palms Classic at Bishop Verot High School, and a pair of the national powers must settle for consolation play after losing their respective quarterfinal games.
Grace Prep (Arlington, Texas)
knocked off Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.)
in overtime and Prestonwood Christian (Plano, Texas)
upset Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.)
to set up a potential rematch between the Lone Star State teams in Wednesday's finals. Grace Prep beat Prestonwood Christian in a nationally-televised contest last Thursday.Riverside Academy (Reserve, La.)
advanced to the semifinals Saturday and Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.)
also won a quarterfinal showdown Monday.
Tuesday's action will be highlighted by Grace Prep taking on Montverde Academy at 7 p.m. and Prestonwood Christian facing Riverside at 9:30 p.m.
The losses by Bishop Gorman and Mater Dei promise to shake up the Xcellent 25, which has had three of the top five teams fall in the first two rounds of the City of Palms Classic.Quarterfinal: Grace Prep (Arlington, Texas) 86, Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) 80 (OT)
Grace Prep rallied from an 18-point halftime deficit to knock off Xcellent 25 No. 2 Mater Dei.
Grace Prep's 6-foot-7 junior forward Jordan Mickey
poured in 29 points, including 23 in the second half. Mickey hit 10 of 12 shots in the final 16 minutes to rally his troops. With 1:52 to play in regulation, Mickey received an interior pass in the paint and used an up and under move to knot the game 72-72. The Lions started the overtime period with an 8-0 run and held on for the win.
Senior Isaiah Austin
, a 7-footer headed to Baylor, added 21 points with 12 rebounds for Grace Prep. Talented sophomore guard Emmanuel Mudiay
contributed 13 points, eight assists and six rebounds.
Mater Dei led 48-30 at halftime. The Monarchs shot 59 percent in the first half and sank seven 3-pointers.
Grace Prep shot 62 percent from the field in the second half and held back Mater Dei with aggressive man-to-man defense that resulted in four steals and five blocked shots, including three denials by Mickey. Plagued by foul trouble, Xavier Johnson
, a Colorado commit, scored only four points in the second half. Katin Reinhardt
, Mater Dei's 6-4 shooting guard, scored 13 in the second half to finish with 20 points, but the UNLV commit had little help against a Grace Prep defense that surprised even its own coach.
"We're not really a team known for defense, but we played some of our best defense. I don't know where that came from. I was surprised," said Grace Prep head coach Ray Forsett, the brother of Seattle Seahawks running back Justin Forsett.
According to Forsett, he gave a halftime speech that stirred the Lions..
"I said, 'There are two kinds of people at a party. There's the kind who stand against the wall and watch and the kind who are in the middle of the room having a good time.' In the first half, we were standing against the wall. In the second half, we were in the center of the room," Forsett said.
In the third period, Grace Prep erased most of Mater Dei's lead. Sophomore Micah Seaborn
sank a 3-pointer from the left corner to cut Mater Dei's lead to 60-58 at the end of the third period.
With 7:19 to play in the fourth quarter, junior guard Pat Birt
caught an outlet pass near the center stripe, dribbled twice and dished to Seaborn for a bucket to knot it 60-60. After a blocked shot by Isaiah Austin, Birt drove the length of the floor and scored on a left-handed finger roll to put Grace Prep ahead 62-60. The lead changed hands multiple times in the fourth period. Mickey's basket with 1:50 to play were the final points of regulation.
Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.) 80, St. Raymond (Bronx, N.Y.) 61
Even without star 6-1 junior point guard Kasey Hill, Montverde Academy rolled into the semifinals.
Senior Anthony Perez
led the Eagles with 18 points and seven rebounds. The 6-9 Venezuelan had an easy time of it against St. Raymond's shorter defenders. He went 6 of 11 from the field, including 4 of 6 from the behind the 3-point arc. Two of Perez's long-range shots helped Montverde pull away against a St. Raymond team that proved competitive for half of the game.
Perez, whose long-range shots looked effortless thanks to his frame, connected on two 3-pointers in the third quarter as the Eagles opened a 62-49 lead heading into the final period. Montverde, which led 42-33 at the half, increased the lead with a 6-0 scoring run to begin the fourth period and used the final eight minutes for some aerial showmanship. The highlights included a big dunk from Perez, who drove the lane and emphatically slammed the ball through the rim.Miguel Cartagena
and Patricio Garino
each added 14 for Montverde. Garino also had six rebounds and six assists. Newcomer DeAngelo Russell
, who transferred from his Louisville, Ky., school in November, had 10 points.
Montverde sank 10 of 23 attempts from long range and also won the rebounding battle, 35-22.
St. Raymond relied heavily on senior forward Daniel Dingle
, a Temple University commit, and junior guard Shane Rector
, who likely increased his stock among college recruiters with a 16-point effort. No other St. Raymond player had more than two baskets. Dingle led all scorers with 26 points and added six rebounds. He drained St. Raymond's only 3-pointer and also showed the ability to score off the dribble.
Montverde expects to have Hill on the floor for Tuesday's semifinals. With a win, first-year head coach Kevin Boyle will have a shot to win back-to-back City of Palms Classic titles and he would become the first to achieve the feat with two different schools. Boyle won the tournament title in 2010 with St. Patrick (Elizabeth, N.J.)
, where he coached for 23 seasons before leaving for Montverde.
Prestonwood Christian (Plano, Texas) 76, Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.) 70
Prestonwood's duo of junior Julius Randle
and freshman Mickey Mitchell
proved too much for Bishop Gorman despite a tournament-high 42 points from the nation's No. 1 recruit, Shabazz Muhammad
"We saw some things on film, and we knew we needed to work the ball inside. Our guards helped us get that done tonight, and our big guys responded," Prestonwood Christian head coach Chris Mayberry said.
Randle, a 6-9 forward regarded as the No. 2 recruit in the Class of 2013 by MaxPreps, scored 26 points and added 10 rebounds and five assists. Mitchell, who enrolled at the suburban Dallas school in November, had 16 points, including 14 in the first half.
"Mickey is going to be a good ballplayer. He's a scorer, but he's unselfish. He has games where he has six or seven assists," Mayberry said.
Muhammad hit on 14 of 29 field goal attempts en route to the monster scoring effort but will return to Las Vegas without the City of Palms title for the second year in a row.Signature Series (non-tournament showcase game): Tilton School (Tilton, N.H.) 80, Friends' Central (Wynnewoode, Pa.) 50
Tilton School dominated Friends' Central from start to finish, jumping to a 28-8 lead after the first quarter and 41-19 at the half.
Tilton's 6-7 senior power forward Georges Niang
led all scorers with 20 points and 6-5 sophomore guard Wayne Selden
added 17 points, six assists and six rebounds.
Nerlens Noel, a 6-10 center and No. 3-rated recruit in the Class of 2013, had a huge impact without going big in the scoring column. Noel snared 17 rebounds to go along with nine points, six assists and four blocked shots.
Tilton shot 60 percent from the field. The Rams sank 9 of 15 3-point shots. Friends Central shot only 30 percent.Amile Jefferson
, a 6-8 senior and five-star recruit, led Friends' Central with 19 points and 10 rebounds.