SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Paul VI (Fairfax, Va.)
wasn’t just battling the No. 4-ranked team in the country Friday night at the Bass Pro Shops Tournament of Champions. It was battling history.
And history says that when White Station (Memphis, Tenn.)
shows up in the Show-Me State, the Spartans are going to be tough to beat.
White Station (16-0) punched its ticket to the Bass Pro title game for the sixth time in eight appearances at the event with a convincing 65-50 win over No. 11 Paul VI. The Spartans improved to 21-2 all-time in Springfield, a record that includes championships in 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004 and 2010.
For the second day in a row, it was senior wing LaDarius Coleman
leading the way for White Station. The 6-foot-5 former boxer scored a game-high 24 points, hitting 8 of 12 from the field and 8 of 10 from the free throw line.
Illinois-bound forward LeRon Black
added 12 points and six rebounds while future Florida Gators point man Chris Chiozza
contributed 10 points and seven assists.
Four players finished in double figures for Paul VI (13-3) led by 12 from Joshua Reaves
.Montverde Academy (Fla.) 83, Christ the King (Middle Village, N.Y.) 54
It wasn’t the overwhelming show of force that Montverde Academy delivered Thursday night, but the No. 1 team in the country earned a repeat trip to the Bass Pro finals and a chance to erase a bitter disappointment.
Montverde Academy led Paul VI by double digits in the final quarter of the championship game a year ago but fell victim to a buzzer beater.
The Eagles got it done against Christ the King without star 2015 prospect Ben Simmons
, who had fluid from a hip infection drained Friday morning and watched the game in street clothes. The 6-9 wing and native of Australia is considered probable for Saturday’s final.
Tournament MVP candidate D'Angelo Russell
picked up the slack in Simmons' absence, putting up a game-high 28 points along with six rebounds and three steals. Jordan Caroline
(13 points, seven rebounds), Jalyn Patterson
(13 points, five assists), Justin Bibbs
(11 points) and Makinde London
(10 points) also finished in double figures.
Super sophomore Rawle Alkins
scored 27 points to lead Christ the King. The Royals stayed within striking distance until Montverde put things away with a 23-7 fourth quarter.
Saturday's championship showdown between Montverde Academy and White Station is scheduled to tip at 8:30 p.m. Central time and will be televised live nationally by the CBS Sports Network.Consolation:
Wesleyan Christian Academy (High Point, N.C.) 53, Willard (Mo.) 51 (OT)
North Carolina-bound guard Theo Pinson
came up big at the end of regulation and overtime to help Wesleyan Christian Academy prevail despite trailing much of the contest.
Pinson converted a 4-point play with a little over a minute to go in the fourth quarter and connected on a pair of foul shots in the final seconds of overtime. The 6-5 senior finished with 24 points, six rebounds and five assists.
Charleston signee Donovan Gilmore
added 12 points and 16 rebounds for Wesleyan (15-7).
For the second night in a row, Missouri State recruit Chris Kendrix
paced Willard (11-4) with 22 points and eight rebounds.
Village Christian (Sun Valley, Calif.) 55, Kickapoo (Springfield, Mo.) 52 (2OT)
Senior forward Marsalis Johnson
tallied 17 points and 11 rebounds while teammate Bennie Boatwright
added 12 points and 11 rebounds in a double-overtime win over hometown favorite Kickapoo.Jack Simpson
scored 19 in a losing effort for the Chiefs.Saturday’s Bass Pro Tournament of Champions schedule
4 p.m. – Willard vs. Kickapoo (Seventh place)
5:30 p.m. – Wesleyan Christian Academy vs. Village Christian (Consolation championship)
7 p.m. – Christ the King vs. Paul VI (Third place)
8:30 p.m. – Montverde Academy vs. White Station (Championship)