FORT MYERS, Fla. --
One night after going to the bell with Whitney Young (Chicago), Montverde Academy (Fla.)
knocked out No. 2 Long Beach Poly (Calif.)
76-51 to advance to Saturday's championship game at the City of Palms Classic at Bishop Verot High School.
Montverde leaned on its big men, 6-10, 255-pound senior center
and 6-8, 235-pound senior forward Devin Williams
to shut down Poly's offense. Johnson and Williams rejected shots and
changed others to keep the unsettled Jackrabbits out of their
"We knew (Roschon) Prince
and (Jordan) Bell
had a lot of talent. Our goal was to stop them from crashing the boards, and we did that. We contained them," said Johnson.
twin towers also handled business at the offensive end. Johnson and
Williams each scored 17 points. Johnson also pulled down 17 rebounds,
including seven at his own basket, and blocked seven shots.
See the Qwixcore Game Log
Prince led Long Beach Poly with 22 points. Bell added 11. Both struggled to score against Johnson, Williams and D'Angelo Russell
, who blocked two shots and had three steals.
executed well. We need to do it again tomorrow to win this thing," said
Williams. "I know we have the best five guys out there. It's just a
matter of staying focused."
The loss was the first of the season for the Jackrabbits, who will battle Southwind for third place.
Lone Peak (Highland, Utah) 67,
Southwind (Memphis, Tenn.) 52
Lone Peak caught fire Friday, and guard T.J. Haws
lit the match.
The 6-foot-4 junior guard answered the bell his coach rang at halftime and led Lone Peak to the semifinal victory. Lone Peak will face Montverde Academy with the championship hardware on the line.
"Coach told us at halftime that we needed to crank up the energy, and that's what we did," said Haws, who scored a game-high 24 points, including 10 in the third period.See the Qwixcore Game Log
Behind the first-half scoring of 6-foot-4 senior guard
, Southwind clung to a 31-30 halftime lead. In the third period, though, Lone Peak worked around its opponent's full-court press to find Haws for a pair of transition layups. He came off a screen and bucketed a 3-pointer to give Lone Peak a 43-35 lead, and hit a trio of foul shots after drawing a foul when he crashed to the floor at the end of a 3-point attempt.
Senior Nick Emery
kept the energy high. Emery, who like Haws is committed to BYU, scored 16 points, including a trio of 3-pointers. In the final period, he found success driving the lane against the taller Southwind cast.
Emery said the team's success from behind the arc contributed to Lone Peak's second-half success driving to the basket. Lone Peak hit seven 3-pointers in the first half. Haws made three of them
"They guarded us tight when we'd drive, so we kicked it out to (Connor Toolson
) and T.J.," Emery said.
Toolson had eight points, including six off a pair of treys. Power forward Eric Mika
, a 6-foot-10 senior who won the evening's Edison National Bank slam dunk contest, also chipped in. Mika, also committed to BYU, played tenacious defense to stamp out Southwind's tendency to dribble-drive to the hoop. He also scored 13 points, most of them from the paint, and pulled down 10 rebounds.
Emery said his team rebounded well, which kept Southwind's big bodies, particularly Johnathan Williams III
, from scoring on putbacks. Williams, who dealt with foul trouble in the second half, finished with 22 points and nine rebounds.
No other Southwind player found lasting shooting success. The team shot 36 percent from the field and only 23 percent during the second half. Johnson scored eight points in the first period but went cold and finished 4 of 17 from the field.
Haws' big night benefited from his quick shot release.
"It's something I've worked on. My dad talked about it with me and helped me understand how I'd need to release quickly against bigger defenders," said Haws.Whitney Young (Chicago) 60, Omaha Central (Neb.) 57
Left to vie for fifth place after dropping Thursday's hard-fought quarterfinals tilt with Montverde Academy, No. 4 Whitney Young (Ill.) defeated Omaha Central with a bucket in the final minute.See the Qwixcore Game Log
Junior Jahlil Okafor
paved the way with a big performance. Okafor, a 6-foot-9 post player, scored 23 points on 11 of 14 field goal shooting and added 11 rebounds and a game-high four assists. Miles Reynolds
chipped in 15 points, and Paul White
added 12. Nick Billingsley
scored 15 for Omaha Central, which also got 14 points and eight rebounds from Akoy Agau
. Chester (Pa.) 78, Lake Wales (Fla.) 64
Chester, coming off its first loss in 62 games, defeated Lake Wales, as Rondae Jefferson
dominated in every facet. He sank 11 of 13 shots from the field and finished with 27 points. Jefferson added 14 rebounds, five assists and two steals. Douglas Brooks
led Lake Wales with 32 points. J'Quayveon Williams
added 11 points and 10 rebounds. See the Qwixcore Game Log
.More Friday scores
Consolation: St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
63, Prestonwood Christian (Plano, Texas)
Consolation: Eagle's Landing (McDonough, Ga.)
60, Bishop Verot (Fort Myers, Fla.)
Consolation: Callaway (Jackson, Miss.)
59, Tift County (Tifton, Ga.)
Consolation: Paul VI (Fairfax, Va.)
64, Lake Highland Prep (Orlando, Fla.)
47Saturday's schedule (All teams Eastern)
9 a.m. – Callaway vs. Fairfax Paul VI
10:40 a.m. – Chester vs. Whitney Young
12:20 p.m. - Evans (Orlando, Fla.)
vs. East Lee County (Lehigh Acres, Fla.)
- Sunshine Series
2 p.m. - HCYA North (Houston)
vs. Kiski School (Saltsburg, Pa.)
- Signature Series
3:45 p.m. – Third Place Final: Southwind vs. Long Beach Poly
5:30 p.m. - North Florida Educational Institute (Jacksonville, Fla.)
vs. Norland (Miami)
- Sunshine Series
7:15 p.m. - Huntington Prep (W. Va.)
vs. Arlington Country Day (Jacksonville, Fla.)
- Signature Series
9 p.m. – Championship Game: Montverde Academy vs. Lone Peak