Bidding to repeat as the Dick's Sporting Goods High School National Tournament champion, No. 2
Montverde Academy (Fla.)
pulled itself off the mat late for a 56-51 win over No. 12 Huntington St. Joseph Prep (W.Va.)
in Friday's second semifinal contest at Christ the King High School in New York City.
Facing a 16-10 deficit after the first quarter, Huntington St. Joseph Prep bounced back to take leads into halftime and the fourth quarter.
The Eagles (27-0) still trailed with less than two minutes remaining in the contest but a Ben Simmons
dunk with a little more than a minute to go gave Montverde a 48-47 lead it wouldn't relinquish.
Ohio State-bound senior guard D'Angelo Russell
produced a game-high 17 points to go along with four steals and three assists. Simmons, a 6-foot-8 junior forward and likely future NBA lottery pick, added 12 points, eight rebounds and three assists.
Providence signee Jalen Lindsey
led Huntington St. Joseph Prep (28-5) with 14 points and four rebounds.
Montverde Academy will carry a 33-game win streak into Saturday's Dick's Nationals final, though the Eagles did lose a January game that was later overturned via forfeit. No. 10 Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) 64
No. 15 Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) 56
About the only thing missing from legendary head coach Steve Smith's record is a Dick's Nationals title.
After surging in the second half to overtake Findlay Prep, Smith and Oak Hill Academy will have that opportunity Saturday at Madison Square Garden.
The Warriors (41-3) trailed 30-20 at halftime but erupted for 44 points in the final 16 minutes to advance to the final.
"We were done if we didn’t come out to play in the second half," Smith told Christopher Lawlor
. "I challenged the team at halftime because I knew our season would be done."
North Carolina State-bound wing Cody Martin
led Oak Hill Academy with 22 points and six rebounds. Twin brother Caleb Martin
and Wake Forest signee Shelton Mitchell
added 13 apiece.
Due to injuries and fouls, Findlay Prep (31-5) finished the game with just five available players. Kansas-bound senior Kelly Oubre
led the Pilots with 22 points and eight boards.
Saturday's Montverde Academy-Oak Hill Academy championship game is slated for a noon EST tip and will be broadcast by ESPN.