"It's All About The Game"
NHSI Day 2, Boy’s Semis
Ron Bailey, Publisher
The boy's bracket is winding down, yet heating up.
March 31, 2012 - Yesterday was action packed. Following are game recaps.
Montverde Academy 50 Montrose Christian 47
Day Two’s first game was a doozy, coming down to a last shot. In the end, Montverde Academy (FL) bested Montrose Christian (MD) 50-47, before a largely MC-biased crowd.
Down eight with around five minutes in the third quarter, Montrose Christian’s
offensive was sputtering under Montverde’s defensive effort. Case
in point was senior forward Justin Anderson’s output; he was held
scoreless up to that time (and finished with just three points for the
Even when Justin Anderson got to the rim, he was usually met with length.
After Anderson, a future UVA student athlete, got in the books with a layup at 4:52 in the third stanza, Montrose’s coach Stu Vetter made a significant defensive change himself – the Mustangs would now play man to man, but sag, thereby choking off Montverde’s driving lanes, which junior Kasey Hill (20 points, seven assists) had been using successfully.
Though Montverde did eventually expand their lead to 11, the scheme started to pay dividends in later, coupled with yet another defensive change; senior Ishmael Wainwright (nine points, seven rebounds) had previously been guarding Hill, but for most of the fourth quarter, Anderson took over that duty. The Mustangs forced several turnovers, tying the ball game at 43, with around three minutes to play.
After some back and forth that saw Hill score a foul shot and a tear drop, and Montrose’s senior forward Michael Carrera fouling out after scoring 22 points and pulling down 14 boards, Montrose was down, the clock reading 49-47. Montverde then turned the ball over after Montrose hard hard hedged a pick and roll – setting up end-game drama: Anderson missed a three pointer with just five ticks on the clock, a shot that was not really necessary, given the team’s effective work inside.
Montrose’s head coach, Stu Vetter, on that play: “We have a set play that we run in that situation, it didn’t come open clear…Justin had a tough shot there. We could have, you know, gone to the basket, we could have made other plays”.
Montverde held Montrose (21-3) to 30.2% shooting, zilch from three point land. The victors completed 40.8% of their own shots, yet sank only 23.8% of their three pointers.
Player Spotlight: Patricio Garino
Headed to GW, this Argentina native has a unique game, capable of defending, shooting, and passing. In his words, “basketball in Argentina is more team basketball”, a philosophy he expects to be present in Foggy Bottom. The presence of former Montverde Academy head coach Kevin Sutton on the staff there was a further boon, though Sutton did not recruit him to GW, head coach Mike Lonergan did.
First year MA coach Kevin Boyle revealed Patricio is even better than he’s displayed in NHSI action. “He’s playing, like I said, in tremendous pain” given a knee injury, “or he’d be at 12 points. He’s short arming everything and he’s pressing a little bit, because he really can’t get open and finish”.
Garino should be an excellent A10 player.
Findlay Prep 68 St. Benedicts 55
Findlay’s depth and length proved too much for St. Benedicts (NJ), as the victors from Vegas won 68-55. Every Benedicts challenge was met.
Findlay received double figure scoring from a quartet of seniors: Forward Winston Shepard (17 points, seven rebounds), guard Dominic Artis (12 points, four rebounds, four assists), plus 11 rebounds and 11 points apiece from forwards Brandon Ashley and Anthony Bennett. For the contest, they sank 53.3% of their field goals.
There was a hiccup to so to speak in Findlay’s impressive outing; they faltered under a 1-2-2 ¾ court press. Their coach, Mike Peck was blunt in his assessment, sharing he told his team “Don’t be that guy” that wilts under pressure. “Be confident, stay strong and aggressive”.
Isaiah Briscoe stood out against Findlay.
His St. Benedicts (34-3) counterpart, Mark Taylor, when asked if his team should have run that 1-2-2 earlier, revealed “Fatigue was an issue, we talked about going into it (the press) earlier”.
Taylor’s guys only completed 33.3% of their buckets, but a pair of guards did enter double digit scoring – senior and soon-to- be Miami Hurricane Melvin Johnson dropped 15 points, while freshman Isaiah Briscoe contributed 17 points.
Player Spotlight: Isaiah Briscoe
In a word, Briscoe was scintillating, driving against older, taller players and finishing, finding teammates regularly; basically he couldn’t be stopped, but Findlay’s players or their words. “They were calling me names and stuff” confided Briscoe. “It happens. You just have to come back at them”.
Taylor was effusive when asked about Briscoe. “I had Jay Williams when he was a high school player” shared Taylor. “I tease Jason, and tell him Isaiah is better than him”.
He continued, saying “Isaiah is special. He can do a lot of things on the court”. That doesn’t mean Briscoe is considered a finished product. Given that, the young guy’s development plan is to improve yearly. “He’s got to improve mentally, and add a different facet of his game, each year” said Taylor. “And if he does that, he’ll be in the NBA”.
The Boy’s championship game will be held at 2p today, 3.31.2012, with Findlay (31-1) and Montverde (23-3) doing battle. It will be played, as all other NHSI games this year, at Georgetown Prep.
Girl's action preceeds it, at noon, as Riverdale Baptist (36-3) takes on Dr. Phillips (30-3). The former is from Maryland, latter calls Florida home.
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