It was so crazy, it worked.
Montverde Academy (Fla.)
challenged hot-shooting Lone Peak (Highland, Utah)
to score inside and head coach Kevin Boyle leaned on his big men, who helped the Eagles muscle their way to a 66-45 win and first City of Palms Classic championship Saturday in Fort Myers, Fla.
Though it was the first COP crown for Montverde, it was not the first for Boyle, who also led St. Patrick (Elizabeth, N.J.)
to the prestigious title in 2010.
Boyle, in his second year at Montverde Academy, told his guards to change their normal approach defensively.
"They drive in off the screen and kick it out to their shooters," Boyle said. "We decided to let them drive one-on-one and let our help guy stay on their shooters."
"We knew they liked to shoot deep," senior guard Miguel Cartagena
added. "Our game plan was to make them take it inside."
The plan worked in the first half. Lone Peak found it difficult to score inside against Montverde's duo of 6-10 senior center Dakari Johnson
and 6-8 senior forward Devin Williams
. Johnson was named tournament MVP following the game.
"We got shots, but we were just a little too quick on our release," Lone Peak coach Quincy Lewis said.
The Knights, who became the first Utah squad to participate in the City of Palms Classic this week, shot 29 percent from the field in the first half and just 33 percent for the game.
Montverde, meanwhile, lit the nets up in the first half. The Orlando-area powerhouse built a 39-22 halftime lead with help from D'Angelo Russell
, who scored 13 points in the first half and finished with 15. The Eagles connected on 16 of 28 first half shots, including 6 of 10 3-point attempts.
"They shot the ball real well. That caught us off guard," said Lone Peak star Nick Emery
, who will play college basketball at BYU along with current teammates T.J. Haws
and 6-8 forward Eric Mika
In the third period, Lone Peak rushed back with a 10-4 run and Johnson left the game with his third foul.
"Our defense played well in the third quarter and we knocked down shots. But it has to be there for the whole game," Emery said.
Haws finished with 21 points for Lone Peak, which also got 11 points from Connor Toolson
. The Knights entered the event ranked No. 1 nationally in MaxPreps.com's Xcellent 25.
For Montverde, Williams matched Russell's total of 15 and also grabbed 11 rebounds. Johnson compiled 10 points, 11 rebounds and four blocked shots. The Eagles were ranked No. 3 in MaxPreps.com's Academy Top 10 prior to the event.Long Beach Poly rallies in third place game Long Beach Poly Calif.)
rallied Saturday to defeat Southwind (Memphis, Tenn.)
64-57 in the third place game of the City of Palms Classic.
Led by forward Jordan Bell
, who finished with a team-high 20 points and 14 rebounds, the Jackrabbits overcame a 12-point halftime deficit against a Southwind squad that went cold in the second half. The Jaguars shot 46 percent from the field in the first half but just 26 percent in the second half. Brandon Staton
added 14 points and Chris Sullivan
12 for Poly, ranked No. 2 nationally by MaxPreps. JaJuan Johnson
paced Southwind with 23 points. Johnathan Williams III
added 18 points, eight rebounds and five blocked shots.Dolphins dunk Chester for fifth
No. 4 Whitney Young (Chicago)
flexed its muscle for the second straight night to win the tournament's fifth place game.
The Dolphins defeated No. 3 Chester (Pa.)
67-56 thanks to torrid shooting. Whitney Young shot 56 percent from the field. Miles Reynolds
scored a team-high 18 points and added seven rebounds and six assists. Paul White
, a 6-8 junior, scored 16.
Chester (5-2) lost for the second time in three games after arriving in Fort Myers with a 61-game win streak. Chester's Rondae Jefferson
led the Clippers team with 18 points and nine rebounds. More Saturday scoresSignature Series championshipHuntington Prep (W.Va.)
74, Arlington Country Day (Jacksonville, Fla.)
57Consolation championshipPaul VI (Fairfax, Va.)
50, Callaway (Jackson, Miss.)
34Signature Series consolation
Kiski School (Saltsburg, Pa.)
62, HCYA North (Houston)
Evans (Orlando, Fla.)
50, East Lee County (Lehigh Acres, Fla.)
28Sunshine SeriesNorth Florida Educational Institute (Jacksonville, Fla.)
64, Norland (Miami, Fla.)