SPRINGFIELD, Mo. –
Too much Ben Simmons
. Too much D'Angelo Russell
. Too much Montverde Academy (Fla.)
The nation's top-ranked high school basketball team was tested Saturday night by No. 4 White Station (Memphis, Tenn.)
in the final of the Bass Pro Shops Tournament of Champions, but demonstrated its supremacy over the final 10 minutes to come away with a 73-60 win.
The highly-anticipated matchup drew a crowd of 10,066 to JQH Arena on the campus of Missouri State University. Over 25,000 fans came through the turnstiles during three days of action.
"It's crazy," Russell said of the support for the event in Springfield. "High school games aren't 10,000 people, the stands aren't this high up, not this big. It gets you ready for the next level."
Though Russell was the tournament MVP, Simmons was the difference against White Station. The 6-foot-9 junior forward tallied 16 points, 11 rebounds and five assists in the championship.
Simmons was held out of Friday's semifinal victory over Christ the King after having fluid drained from a hip infection.
"They had to cut in there and push all the stuff out. I could barely walk," Simmons said. "They had to tape me up and stretch me out today. I wasn't even sure if I was going to play."
Montverde Academy (18-0) is thankful he did. White Station (16-1) was up to the challenge as the lead changed hands six times through the first three quarters. The game was knotted eight times over the same span.Justin Bibbs
(15 points), Chris Egi
(13 points), Russell (12 points, eight rebounds, five assists) and Jalyn Patterson
(12 points, seven assists) joined Simmons in double figures for Montverde Academy.
Showcasing their unmatched depth and talent, the Eagles had four or more double-digit scorers in all three games at Bass Pro.
Junior sharpshooter Nych Smith
paced White Station with 14 points. LaDarius Coleman
added 13 points and 11 boards while Illinois-bound forward LeRon Black
scored 12 points to go along with six rebounds.
Montverde Academy – MaxPreps.com's defending national champs and winners of 24 in a row – won't have to wait long for its next big test. The Eagles will travel from Missouri to Massachusetts for a Monday meeting at the Spalding Hoophall Classic with No. 8 Curie (Chicago)
.Third place: Paul VI (Fairfax, Va.) 75, Christ the King (Middle Village, N.Y.) 46
After winning the Bass Pro Shops Tournament of Champions a year ago by beating Montverde Academy in the final, No. 11 Paul VI (12-3) captured third this time around with an impressive victory over Christ the King.Kevin Dorsey
, who hit a game-winning buzzer beater in 2013 against Montverde, came up big for the Panthers once again Saturday. The junior point guard had 19 points, four rebounds and three assists.
Sophomore forward Tyler Scanlon
contributed 19 more while Joshua Reaves
(13 points), Marcus Derrickson
(10) and Curtis Jones
(10) also finished in double figures for Paul VI.
For the second night in a row in Springfield, sophomore Rawle Alkins
paced Christ the King (12-3) with 14 points. Alkins pumped in 27 in the semifinals.
Paul VI will have a short turnaround before facing legendary head coach Bob Hurley and St. Anthony (Jersey City, N.J.)
on Monday morning at the Spalding Hoophall Classic.Fifth place:
Wesleyan Christian (High Point, N.C.) 61, Village Christian (Sun Valley, Calif.) 45 Theo Pinson
played in the Bass Pro Shops Tournament of Champions as a freshman at Oak Ridge Military Academy (Oak Ridge, N.C.)
and closed his career at the event with a memorable performance against Village Christian.
"I knew this was my last time playing at the Tournament of Champions and I just wanted to go out on top and make sure the fans in Springfield remember me," Pinson said.
Pinson recorded a triple-double with 19 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds. The North Carolina-bound guard brought the crowd to its feet in the final quarter with a pair of thunderous dunks that took the fight out of Village Christian.
Sophomore Jalen Johnson
gave Wesleyan (16-7) a lift early with four first-half 3-pointers en route to 16 points.
Senior Bear Henderson
paced Village Christian (13-3) with 19 points.Seventh place: Kickapoo (Springfield, Mo.) 47, Willard (Mo.) 46
In a nail-biter between local schools, junior guard Tyson Batiste
scored 13 points to lead Kickapoo (12-4) to a seventh-place finish.
The Chiefs overcame a 26-point performance from Missouri State-bound senior Chris Kendrix
of Willard (11-5). The 6-5 wing-forward also recorded eight rebounds and three steals.
Bass Pro Shops All-Tournament TeamMVP:
D'Angelo Russell, Montverde Academy
Rawle Alkins, Christ the King
Tyson Batiste, Kickapoo
LeRon Black, White StationBennie Boatwright
, Village ChristianJordan Caroline
, Montverde AcademyChris Chiozza
, White Station
LaDarius Coleman, White Station
Chris Kendrix, Willard
Theo Pinson, Wesleyan
Joshua Reaves, Paul VI
Ben Simmons, Montverde Academy