Top-ranked Lone Peak (Highland, Utah)
chopped down a giant Thursday for a 73-50 win against Chester (Pa.)
in the quarterfinals of the City of Palms Classic in Fort Myers, Fla.
The Clippers brought Chester's 61-game win streak to a screeching halt with a combination of sharp shooting and tenacious rebounding.
"Getting boards was the key. We knew they were a lot bigger and stronger, and we knew about the streak," said senior guard Nick Emery
, who matched junior teammate T.J. Haws
with 23 points.
Emery credited the big guys for lifting the Knights to victory.
"Eric was big for us inside. He pulled down boards on the offensive end and kicked out for us to make shots," Emery said of the team's 6-foot-8 interior force, Eric Mika
, who finished with 13 points and nine rebounds.
Haws, who joined Emery in committing to BYU, added that Lone Peak succeeded in breaking Chester's press with good ball-handling and passing.
"We moved the ball well," said Haws.
The Clippers, two-time defending champions in Pennsylvania's Class AAAA, last lost a game on Dec. 30, 2010 against Sanford (Hockessin, Del.).
Utah's powerhouse squad advanced to Friday's semifinals, where they'll face Southwind (Memphis, Tenn.). Friday's winner earns a spot in Saturday's championship game.
Although Lone Peak stiffly pushed Chester out of the tournament's winner's bracket, Chester can exact revenge Jan. 12, when the teams meet again at the Brandon Jennings Invitational in Milwaukee.No. 3 Montverde Academy (Fla.) 68,
No. 4 Whitney Young (Chicago) 63 (OT)
Tyrone Slaughter put the sign on the marquee Thursday when he told a referee that the matchup pitting his Whitney Young squad against Montverde was "a big boy's game," but the smaller guards took charge to lift Montverde to a win in the quarterfinal slugfest.
Montverde senior guard
and junior guard D'Angelo Russell
darted and dashed to spark their team's offense. Both created off the dribble and took feeds after cuts to the basket to give Montverde a balanced attack.
Russell scored 17 points, and Hill finished with 12 points.Dakari Johnson
, Montverde's 6-foot-10 interior terror, added nine points and 17 rebounds, but it was the guards that starred while Whitney Young's 6-9 junior, Jahlil Okafor
, held Johnson in check with tight interior defense as the referees allowed the big boys to bang and bump.
Johnson credited Russell with stepping up for Montverde.
"All of our guys stepped, but I'm the happiest for D'Angelo," said Johnson. "He's been looking for a game like this where he could show what he's capable of. He did that tonight, and we needed it."
Russell said he knew the game would be billed as Okafor versus Johnson.
"I expected Jahil to be focused on shutting down Johnson. But we're not just a big man show. We're a solid all-around team. We came together tonight. We have good chemistry, and it was the difference," Russell said.
On the offensive end, Okafor poured in 16 points and added 13 rebounds. Miles Reynolds
led Whitney Young with 18 points.
Whitney Young led early, but Montverde captured the lead in the second quarter. The margin was no greater than eight at any point in the second half. With 7.6 seconds left in regulation, Reynolds drew a foul from Russell on a 3-point attempt and sank all three foul shots to knot the score at 58.
In overtime, Montverde crept ahead and held on at the end after Whitney Young missed a 3-point shot with the Dolphins down 66-63. Montverde scored at the buzzer to seal the win.No. 5 Southwind (Memphis, Tenn.) 88,
Lake Wales (Fla.) 70
Southwind routed Lake Wales to reach the semifinals. Southwind faces Lone Peak Friday with a championship game berth on the line.
A size advantage and a smooth, lightning-quick transition helped Southwind to a 47-22 halftime lead. Lake Wales rallied back while Southwind played with its reserves in the second half.
The Jaguars' JaJuan Johnson
, a 6-5 senior, warmed up for Friday's slam dunk competition with a quartet of thunderous slams, including a tomahawk job that brought fans to their feet. Johnson, committed to Marquette, finished with 27 points. Fellow senior Johnathan Williams III
demonstrated his versatility with powerful post play and silky open-floor passing and dribbling that helped Southwind stamp out Lake Wales' press. Williams poured in 21 and added 13 rebounds. Marcus Dewberry
led Lake Wales with 16 points, and Douglas Brooks added 14.Huntington Prep (W. Va.) 77, HCYA North (Houston) 50
Huntington Prep coasted to the win against HCYA North in Signature Series play. No. 1 senior Andrew Wiggins
showcased his game with a torrid night from the field. He sank 15 of 22 shots for a game-high 31 points and added eight rebounds and three blocked shots.More Thursday scoresSignature Series: Arlington Country Day (Jacksonville, Fla.)
73, Kiski School (Saltsburg, Pa.)
54Consolation: Lake Highland Prep (Orlando, Fla.)
67, Bishop Verot (Fort Myers, Fla.)
54Consolation: Callaway (Jackson, Miss.)
47, St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
44Consolation: Paul VI (Fairfax, Va.)
62, Prestonwood Christian (Plano, Texas)
8:45 a.m. – St. Thomas Aquinas vs. Prestonwood Christian
10:25 a.m. – Bishop Verot vs. Eagle's Landing
12:05 p.m. – Callaway vs. Tifton County
1:45 p.m. – Paul VI vs. Lake Highland Prep
3:20 p.m. – Chester vs. Lake Wales
5:15 p.m. – Whitney Young vs. Omaha Central
7 p.m. - Lone Peak vs. Southwind
9:30 p.m. – Montverde Academy vs. Long Beach Poly
11:15 p.m. - Community School of Naples vs. North Florida Educational Institute