4 in depth matchup previews

 

Schedule:

12:00 PM #3 Blanche Ely (FL) 28-0 vs #6 Findlay Prep (NV) 28-2 ESPNU

2:00 PM #4 Wheeler (GA) 31-2 vs #5 Huntington Prep (WV) 30-2 ESPNU

4:00 PM #2 Montverde Academy (FL) 28-1 vs #7 Greensboro Day (NC) 33-2 ESPNU

6:00 PM #1 Oak Hill Academy (VA) 45-0 vs #8 Wings Academy (NY) 31-2 ESPNU

 

 

Undefeated vs Perennial Power

Blanche Ely (FL) has a perfect record on the year as they enter their matchup with Findlay Prep (NV). Findlay Prep has the talent on their roster to make a deep run in this year’s event, however Blanche Ely is undefeated on the year and has a state title run under their belt. Blanche Ely will play hard and take it to Findlay Prep in this game regardless who wins or loses it will be a hard fought, tightly contested game throughout with some intriguing matchups to watch out for as Blanche Ely (FL) tries to continue their undefeated season into the second round of Dick’s Nationals.

 

How Findlay Prep Wins:

Findlay Prep can win by simply playing hard and eliminating turnovers. If elite junior point guard Derryck Thorton Jr can control the tempo and limit his turnovers the Pilots should be able to spoil Blanche Ely’s undefeated run. Other players who will play a big role in the outcome of this one are 2015 Arizona-commit Allonzo Trier who played in the McDonald’s All American game last night, and Horace Spencer will play a big role in getting rebounds in the paint.

 

How Blanche Ely Wins:

Blanche Ely can remain undefeated by playing a fundamentally sound game of basketball and winning every 50/50 battle. Blanche Ely doesn’t have the same level of talent as Findlay Prep but they do have division one athletes that play hard and get up and defend. For Blanche Ely to be successful they will need to create havoc and fight behind senior 6’ 7” PF Therrell Gosier.

 

 

Toss Up Game

Third nationally ranked Wheeler (GA) first round matchup with fourth nationally ranked Huntington Prep (WV) will be one for the ages as division one talent consumes the court. The key to this game will be the Huntington Prep frontcourt facing off against an undersized Wheeler team that utilizes strong guard play. Huntington Prep certainly will have the advantage down low with unsigned 6’ 11” big men Thomas Bryant and Levi Cook, but the pressure of Wheeler may be tough to handle for combo-guard Curtis Jones. The other factor in this game is the Jaylen Brown factor. How big of an impact will Brown make coming off his McDonald’s All American Game performance last night?

 

How Wheeler (GA) Wins:

Wheeler wins by simply playing through Jaylen Brown and forcing Huntington Prep into turnovers. Wheeler can certainly play strong pressure defense and will need to turn Huntington Prep over and make it an up-tempo game to neutralize the Huntington Prep big men. If Jaylen Brown can have a big game Wheeler should survive in advance but if Brown doesn’t have a heroic effort they may be in trouble.

 

How Huntington Prep (WV) Wins:

The formula for Huntington Prep is simple against Wheeler, dump the ball inside and slow down Jaylen Brown. Huntington Prep can win if they get into a half court game with Wheeler, slowing the ball down, getting their big men touches, and limiting Jaylen Brown’s touches. Brown will be a major factor in the winner of this game and Huntington Prep will need a game plan to contain one of the top seniors in the nation.

 

 

3-Peat vs Defense

Montverde Academy (FL) will come into its showdown with Greensboro Day (NC) looking to take the first step in the right direction toward their third consecutive Dick’s Nationals title. Ben Simmons, coming off a McDonald’s All American game last night, will need to put his imprint on their tournament run from game one. If Greensboro Day (NC) can find a way to slow down the nations top high school player Ben Simmons they will have a chance to pull off the upset against Montverde Academy in their first round matchup. Greensboro Day hold teams in the low 40’s regularly and will try to do the same thing against Ben Simmons and company.

 

How Montverde Academy (FL) Wins:

Montverde shouldn’t have too much trouble with Greensboro Day in their first round matchup but it will be a fight from start to finish. In the end Montverde will need to get the ball inside and let Ben Simmons take over in his senior year as he will certainly be hungry for a third consecutive title.

 

How Greensboro Day (NC) Wins:

Greensboro Day can win by doing what they do best, which is play defense and slow down Ben Simmons. If Greensboro Day can hold Ben Simmons under 20 points, they will have a chance to take down Montverde. Limiting Montverde’s possessions and capitalizing on opportunities could give Greensboro Day a chance to upset the twice-defending Dick’s Nationals champions.

 

 

New York Champs vs 45-0 Oak Hill Academy (VA)

Oak Hill Academy (VA) has dominated competition this season and roll into Dick’s Nationals with an unblemished 45-0 record. Wings Academy (NY) already took care of their New York State Title run; now they focus on taking down top-ranked Oak Hill Academy. Wings Academy will need to force Oak Hill into turnovers and convert on the offensive end to keep close with Oak Hill. The difference-maker for Oak Hill is Florida State commit Dwayne Bacon who played in the McDonald’s All American game last night and will need to play big if Oak Hill wants to make a deep run.

 

How Oak Hill Academy (VA) wins:

Oak Hill needs to come out focused against a good Wings Academy team or they could be in trouble in New York against a team that will surely have the local crowd behind them. Oak Hill needs to limit the damage of Jessie Govan and take Wings Academy seriously from the tip. Oak Hill has not had much success in Dick’s Nationals history, however they will look to cap off their undefeated season and change that in this year’s event in New York.

 

How Wings Academy (NY) Wins:

Wings Academy needs to dump the ball down to Georgetown-commit Jessie Govan early and often against Oak Hill. If Wings Academy can force Daniel Giddens into foul trouble they can exploit Oak Hill down low and hang around long enough to pull off the upset. The crowd will be behind them and the longer they still close the louder the crowd will grow.

 

 

 

Meet this year’s field:

 

#1 Oak Hill Academy (VA)

Record: 45-0

Head Coach: Steve Smith

Top Scorer: Dwayne Bacon

Signature Wins: Bishop O’Dowd (CA) x2, Wesleyan Christian (NC), Cape Henry (VA), Sierra Canyon (CA), Villa Angela-St Joseph (OH)

Key Contributors:

2015 6’ 10” C Daniel Giddens: (Ohio State)

2016 6’ 7” PF Joe Hampton: (Undecided)

2015 6’ 5” SG Andrew Fleming: (Iowa)

2015 6’ 6” SG Dwayne Bacon: (Florida State)

2015 5’ 11” PG Terrence Phillips: (Missouri)

2015 6’ 5” SF Josh Reaves: (Penn State)

2016 6’ 9” PF Khadim Sy: (Undecided)

2017 6’ 1” PG Lidell Wigginton (Undecided)

 

 

#2 Montverde Academy (FL)

Record: 28-1

Head Coach: Kevin Boyle

Top Scorer: Ben Simmons

Signature Wins: Jonesboro (GA), Plano West (TX), Bishop O’Dowd (CA), Wayne (OH), Pebblebrook (GA), Roselle Catholic (NJ)

Losses: Wheeler (GA)

Key Contributors:

2015 7’ 0” C Doral Moore: (Wake Forest)

2015 6’ 8” PF Noah Dickerson: (Florida)

2015 6’ 9” SF Ben Simmons: (LSU)

2015 6’ 2” SG Marcel Ponitka: (Undecided)

2016 6’ 3” PG Howard Washington: (Undecided)

2018 6’ 9” SF EJ Montgomery: (Undecided)

2015 6’ 7” SF Marquez Letcher-Ellis: (Rice)

2015 7’ 4” C Jean Marc Koumadje: (Florida State)

 

 

#4 Wheeler (GA)

Record: 30-2

Head Coach: Doug Lipscomb

Top Scorer: Jaylen Brown

Signature Wins: Wesleyan Christian (NC), Montverde Academy (FL), Central Catholic (OR), Pebblebrook (GA)

Losses: West Linn (OR), Bishop O’Dowd (CA)

Key Contributors:

2015 6’ 7” PF Hakem Anchrum: (Undecided)

2015 6’ 7” SF Jaylen Brown: (Undecided)

2015 6’ 5” SG Shembari Phillips: (Tennessee)

2016 6’ 3” SG Cameron Jordan: (Undecided)

2016 5’ 10” PG Makhai Eastmond: (Undecided)

2017 6’ 2” PG Darius Perry: (Undecided)

 

 

#5 Huntington Prep (WV)

Record: 31-2

Head Coach: Arkell Bruce

Top Scorer: Thomas Bryant

Signature Wins: Life Center Academy (NJ), Arlington Country Day (FL), West Oaks (FL), Our Savior New American (NY)

Losses: Quality Education (NC), Callaway (MS)

Key Contributors:

2015 6’ 10” C Levi Cook: (Undecided)

2015 6’ 11” PF Thomas Bryant: (Undecided)

2016 6’ 7” SF Miles Bridges: (Undecided)

2016 6’ 1” SG Ivan Gandia: (Undecided)

2016 6’ 4” PG Curtis Jones: (Undecided)

2015 6’ 9” PF Ted Kapita: (Arkansas)

2015 6’ 3” SG Ronshad Allen-Shabazz: (Appalachian State)

2015 6’ 9” SF Karim Ezzeddine: (Undecided)

 

 

#6 Findlay Prep (NV)

Record: 28-2

Head Coach: Andy Johnson

Top Scorer: Allonzo Trier

Signature Wins: Our Savior New American (NY), Stevenson (IL), Bishop Gorman (NV)

Losses: Wayne (OH), Canyon Springs (NV)

Key Contributors:

2015 6’ 8” PF Horace Spencer: (Auburn)

2017 6’ 8” PF PJ Washington: (Undecided)

2016 6’ 8” SF Justin Jackson: (UNLV)

2015 6’ 5” SG Allonzo Trier: (Arizona)

2016 6’ 2” PG Derryck Thorton Jr: (Undecided)

2017 6’ 8” PF O’Shae Brissett: (Undecided)

2017 6’ 6” SF Donnie Tillman: (Undecided)

2016 6’ 9” PF Khalea Turner: (Undecided)

 

 

#7 Greensboro Day (NC)

Record: 33-2 *North Carolina State Title

Head Coach: Fred Johnson

Signature Wins: Providence Day (NC) 2x, Wesleyan Christian (NC) 2x, Davidson Day (NC)

Losses: Davidson Day (NC), Wesleyan Christian (NC)

Tournament History: First Appearance

Key Contributors:

2015 6′ 6″ Peter Agba: (Akron)

2017 6′ 5″ JP Moorman: (Undecided)

2017 6′ 4″ Travon Mayo: (Undecided)

2018 6′ 1″ Will Dillard: (Undecided)

2015 5′ 10″ Darius Moore: (Presbyterian)

2018 6′ 5″ John Newman: (Undecided)

2015 6′ 3″ Trevor Mayo: (Undecided)

 

 

#8 Wings Academy (NY)

Record: 28-2

Head Coach: Billy Turnage

Signature Wins: Construction (NY), Jefferson (NY), Cardozo (NY), Brentwood (NY)

Losses: Roman Catholic (PA), Cardozo (NY)

Tournament History: First Appearances

Key Contributors:

2015 6′ 11″ C Jessie Govan: (Georgetown)

2017 6′ 5″ PF Jose Perez: (Undecided)

2017 6′ 1″ SG Kamissoko Boubacar: (Undecided)

2015 6′ 1″ SG Efrain DeJesus: (Undecided)

2015 6′ 1″ PG Desure Buie: (Hofstra)

2016 6′ 8″ PF Jamar Brown: (Undecided)

2016 6′ 3″ SG Kevin Saylor: (Undecided)

 

Tournament History:

2014: Montverde Academy (FL) over Oak Hill Academy (VA) 71-62

2013: Montverde Academy (FL) over St. Benedict’s Prep (NJ) 67-65

2012: Findlay Prep (NV) over Montverde Academy (FL) 86-83

2011: Montrose Christian (MD) over Oak Hill Academy (VA) 71-64 (2OT)

2010: Findlay Prep (NV) over Montverde Academy (FL) 59-46

2009: Findlay Prep (NV) over Oak Hill Academy (VA) 74-66

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