FORT MYERS, Fla. –
In a battle of Texas teams with a shared nickname (Lions) and separated by just 40 miles, Prestonwood Christian (Plano)
ruled the jungle by leaning on one of its cubs – 6-foot-7 freshman Mickey Mitchell
– in a 62-42 victory over Grace Prep (Arlington)
in the final of the State Farm City of Palms Classic.
Not only did Prestonwood Christian (10-1) become the first Lone Star State team to win the 39th annual event, but it exacted revenge for a nationally-televised 79-64 loss to the same Grace Prep (9-2) team less than a week ago.
Mitchell led the charge offensively with a game-high 19 points. Mitchell drove to the basket with authority and banged around inside for eight rebounds against Grace Prep's tall front line featuring 7-footer Isaiah Austin
and 6-7 Jordan Mickey
"I've never seen a freshman like Mickey. He can really play," first-year Prestonwood Christian coach Chris Mayberry. "He's just so intelligent. His basketball IQ is outrageous. He just understands the game so well."
Meanwhile, 6-9 senior center Zach Peters
helped limit Austin to 10 points after the Baylor-bound big man pumped in 18 in last Thursday's meeting. Peters, a Kansas signee who also had 15 points and eight rebounds, pushed Austin out of the paint and challenged him to beat PCA from the perimeter.
"Last week was the first time I'd ever played him, and I've never seen him play, either," Peters said of Austin. "In that first game, I didn't really know what to expect. I figured that a 7-footer would be trying to back me down."
Instead, Austin likes to face the basket and use a short jumper and left hook, the latter of which he likes to throw off the glass, said Peters.
"Knowing that, I stayed out closer on him this time, and I didn't let him dribble," Peters said.
Austin finished 4 of 13 from the field and fouled out with 5:26 to play in the final quarter while going over Mitchell's back. He pulled down 15 rebounds in the losing effort.
"I think everybody expected us to lose our first game," Peters said. "We got it done when nobody else thought we could, and that makes it a lot more special."
Prestonwood Christian finished off Grace Prep when Peters took a pass from Mitchell midway through the fourth period and dunked it to give his team a 55-33 lead. Peters dunked again seconds later to make it 57-33.
PCA led 26-18 at the half. Prestonwood finished the third period on an 11-2 run capped by a Marquan Botley
3-pointer as the buzzer sounded. Botley's bucket put PCA ahead 46-28. Prestonwood padded its lead with an 11-5 run to start the period and the Lions finished off the game with some dazzling dunks by junior power forward Julius Randle
, who had an otherwise quiet night, and 6-5 senior forward Austin Rettig
, who finished with 10 points.
Despite just seven points and seven rebounds in the final, Randle earned tournament MVP honors.
Grace Prep sophomore guard Emmanuel Mudiay
matched Austin's team high with 10 points for Grace Prep.
Prestonwood reached the finals with a 70-63 win against Constitution (Philadelphia, Pa.)
, a 76-70 win against Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.)
in Monday's quarterfinals and a 71-64 victory against Riverside Academy (Reserve, La.)
in Tuesday's semifinals.
Third place: Montverde Academy (Fla.) 92, Riverside Academy (Reserve, La.) 80
Highly-touted guards Michael Frazier
and Kasey Hill
sparked an offensive explosion for Montverde Academy a day after shooting a paltry 32 percent from the field in a loss.
Montverde Academy shot 53 percent from the field, 69 percent from the foul line and 45 percent from 3-point range. Frazier, a future Florida Gator, led the way with 19 points and 11 rebounds while Hill added 13 points and five assists.
"We were more focused tonight," Hill said. "We hit some nice shots, and we got a big win," said Hill.
Montverde sprinted to a 25-15 lead after the first period and a 44-34 halftime lead. The Eagles shot 58 percent from the field in the first half.Ricardo Gathers
, Zelvin Smith
and Donald Thomas Jr.
each had 12 points for Riverside Academy. Gathers, a Top 100 recruit, added 10 rebounds and three steals. The Rebels head to Oregon for the Les Schwab Invitational after Christmas.Fifth place: Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) 79, Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.) 69
Future UNLV Runnin' Rebel Katin Reinhardt
poured in 25 points as Mater Dei bounced back from a quarterfinal loss to Grace Prep with back-to-back wins in Fort Myers.
Senior shooting guard Shabazz Muhammad
, considered the top senior recruit in the nation, scored 26 for Bishop Gorman. Muhammad had just two points at the half. More Wednesday City of Palms scoresBlanche Ely (Pompano Beach, Fla.)
73, Gill St. Bernard's (Gladstone, N.J.)
, Blanche Ely: 22 pointsFriends' Central (Wynnewoode, Pa.)
55, Urspringschule (Ulm, Germany) 51Amile Jefferson
, Friends' Central: 21 points, 8 rebounds
Lake Wales (Fla.)
78, Miller Grove (Lithonia, Ga.)
, Lake Wales: 21 points
Salesian (Richmond, Calif.)
76, St. Raymond (Bronx, N.Y.)
, Salesian: 26 points
Tilton School (Tilton, N.H.)
63, Wilbraham & Monson (Wilbraham, Mass.)
, Tilton: 8 points, 21 rebounds, 6 blocked shots