Thursday's opening game of the Dick's Sporting Goods High School National Tournament provided drama that will be tough to match over the next two days in New York City.
Recent Oregon commit JaQuan Lyle
sent No. 12 Huntington St. Joseph Prep (W.Va.)
to Friday's semifinals with a 3-pointer as time expired to beat No. 7 La Lumiere (LaPorte, Ind.)
Dick's Nationals features eight of the nation's top 15 teams (according to the MaxPreps Xcellent 25 National Boys Basketball Rankings
) and is being billed by organizers as a de-facto national championship, though No. 1 Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.)
is absent from the field.
"It was an unbelievable game, we knew what was at stake," Huntington St. Joseph Prep coach Rob Fulford told Chris Lawlor
. "This team has come a long way from losing four games in the first semester. We've found our chemistry."
Canadian import Montaque Gill-Ceasar
paced the victorious Fighting Irish (28-4) with 20 points, four assists and three rebounds. Lyle finished with 11 points and six assists.Jalen Coleman
, a highly recruited 6-foot-3 junior guard, led La Lumiere (23-3) with 16 points.No. 2 Montverde Academy (Fla.) 81
No. 4 Sagemont (Weston, Fla.) 63
A battle between unbeaten Florida squads was never in doubt, as the defending Dick's Nationals champs took a 24-point lead into halftime and never opened the door in the final 16 minutes for Sagemont (33-1).
MaxPreps All-American candidate Ben Simmons
, a 6-8 junior forward, led Montverde Academy (26-0) with 25 points, 11 rebounds and four blocked shots.
Officially, the Eagles have won 32 games in a row dating back to last season. Montverde was beaten by Curie (Chicago) in January at the Spalding Hoophall Classic, but that result was later overturned via forfeit.No. 10 Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) 69
No. 5 Northside Christian Academy (Charlotte, N.C.) 60
Twin brothers Caleb
and Cody Martin
combined for 35 points and 14 rebounds as Oak Hill Academy (40-3) made a late push to put away Northside Christian Academy (28-2).
The Martin twins are 6-6 wings who will continue their careers at North Carolina State next season. Cody was also credited with seven assists for Oak Hill. Lithuanian big man Rokas Gustys
added a double-double (12 points, 12 rebounds).
The Warriors limited Northside stars James Demery
and Keyshawn Woods
to a combined 5 of 27 shooting from the field. DeSean Murray
picked up the slack with 18 points.No. 15 Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) 67
No. 3 Rainier Beach (Seattle) 59
Taking the floor without injured sophomore point guard Derryck Thornton Jr.
, Findlay Prep built a 14-point lead in the third quarter and held off Washington's 3A state champs for the win.
Rainier Beach's pressing style left Craig Victor
of Findlay Prep (31-4) open for easy opportunities all game long. The Arizona signee took advantage with a game-high 23 points to go along with 11 rebounds.
Future Kansas Jayhawk Kelly Oubre
added 17 points and 14 rebounds for the Pilots.
Cold shooting troubled Rainier Beach (29-1). The Vikings were able to convert just 5 of 32 3-point field goal attempts and shot 30.8 percent from the field for the game. Junior guard De'Jounte Murray
needed 21 shots to net a team-best 21 points.
Friday's semifinals will once again be staged at Christ the King High School. Oak Hill Academy will meet Findlay Prep at 2:30 p.m. EST while Huntington St. Joseph Prep meets Montverde Academy at 4:10 p.m. Saturday's championship game will be played at Madison Square Garden and is scheduled for a noon tip.