In the first regular season meeting ever between high school basketball giants, No. 4 Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.)
left zero doubt who stood taller on this day with a dominating 76-51 win over No. 5 Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.)
Saturday in Tampa, Fla.
Five-star prospects Cade Cunningham
and Precious Achiuwa
matched Oak Hill's output by themselves, with 26 and 25 points, respectively, as the Eagles led wire-to-wire in this ARS/Rescue Rooter National Hoopfest matchup played before a packed Berkeley Prep gymnasium and a live ESPNU national television audience.
Cunningham and Achiuwa combined to make 22 of 30 shots, pull down 16 rebounds and helped shut down Cole Anthony
, the nation's No. 4 rated senior, according to 247Sports. The 6-foot-2 McDonald's All-American point guard, coming off an ankle injury, made just two-of-14 shots and finished with 10 points, four assists and four rebounds, well below his season averages.
While Montverde Academy (19-2) got almost any shot it wanted while making 33-of 58 attempts (58 percent), Oak Hill (21-3) struggled to to find any open looks and finished 17 of 58 from the floor (29 percent).
Cunningham, a 6-5 junior point guard, went for a smooth 26 points, nine assists and seven rebounds on 12 of 17 shooting. Achiuwa, a 6-9 senior recently picked for the McDonald's All-American game, finished 10-of-13 from the floor for 25 points and nine rebounds.
Though the outcome wasn't that surprising, the margin of victory and domination from start to finish was. The Eagles jumped out to a 12-2 lead and stretched the margin to 21 by halftime. Oak Hill, led by a 26-point effort from Cam Thomas
, closed to within 13 in the third quarter, but Montverde just had too much firepower.
It had way too much Cunningham and Achiuwa.
"This just gives us a lot of confidence going forward," Cunningham said. "Beating them as bad as we did in this kind of environment was huge for us."
The game was highly anticipated considering the mega powers have combined for an overall record of 360-21 over the last five seasons, while capturing four of the past five GEICO Nationals titles.
Both teams also feature two of the most respected coaches in Oak Hill Academy's Steve Smith, who has more than 1,100 career wins and has helped develop the likes of Jerry Stackhouse, Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant. Montverde Academy's Kevin Boyle has coached D'Angelo Russell and Ben Simmons, among others, while boasting four national titles during his eight seasons with the Eagles.
Led by R.J. Barrett, the 2017-18 MaxPreps National Player of the Year, Montverde won the national title last season.
After Saturday's performance, they look primed for a another crown April 4-6 in New York City.
"I think we showed when we play together what we can do," Cunningham said.
Oak Hill Academy will look to bounce back this week when they take on Combine Academy (Matthews, N.C.) on Tuesday at home.
The Eagles play a pair of elite Garden State opponents next weekend when they travel to the Metro Classic, with No. 21 Ranney (Tinton Falls, N.J.) and No. 16 Roselle Catholic (Roselle, N.J.).MaxPreps writer Lynden Ostrander contributed to this report.