#5 La Lumiere (IN) over #4 St. Benedict’s Prep (NJ) 60-59
#2 Oak Hill Academy (VA) over #7 Wasatch Academy (UT) 81-64
#1 Montverde Academy (FL) over #8 Providence Day (FL) 70-54
#6 Miller Grove (GA) over #3 Findlay Prep (NV) 67-65
The 2016 Dick’s Nationals tournament started off with a bang. The day began with a rematch between #5 seed La Lumiere (IN) and #4 seed St. Benedict’s Prep (NJ) in a game that La Lumiere (IN) won their first game in tournament history, while avenging an early season loss. The day ended with Alterique Gilbert and #3 seed Miller Grove (GA) taking down three-time tournament champion #3 seed Findlay Prep (NV) 67-65 in a grueling fight to the finish. The two games in between showed the top two seeds flexing their muscles as #1 seed Montverde Academy (FL) took down #8 seed Providence Day (NC) 70-54 and #2 seed Oak Hill Academy (VA) knocked off #7 seed Wasatch Academy (UT) 81-64. Day one is now in the books for the 8th annual Dick’s Nationals and much more fun and excitement are sure to come in the next two days of action.
The first game of the day was a back and forth rematch between two very talented national powerhouses. La Lumiere (IN) took down St. Benedict’s Prep (NJ) 60-59 behind a tough finish in the lane from their star 2017 SF Brian Bowen with 13 seconds remaining. Bowen finished with 23 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 steals, shooting a solid 9-15 from the field. 2017 PF Jeremiah Tilmon also stepped up as he finished with 9 points and 10 rebounds battling hard on the glass and playing all 32 minutes. For the Gray Bees it was 2017 Bourama Sidibe who played huge minutes finishing with 13 points, 12 rebounds, 4 blocks, and going 6-10 from the field. 2016 Kennesaw State commit James Scott also had a big night for St. Benedict’s Prep (NJ) as he racked up 18 points to go with 4 rebounds and 4 assists. 2017 David Beatty really struggled from the field finishing just 1-12.
Oak Hill Academy (VA) looked very impressive in the second half against a well-coached Wasatch Academy (UT), taking down the first Utah participant in tournament history 81-64. Wasatch Academy (UT) started off the game strong with a 10-0 run and led 18-10 after the first quarter, however the Warriors bounced back in the second quarter, outscoring the Tigers 29-9 in the second quarter. Oak Hill Academy (VA) never looked back after they took a 38-27 lead at the half, using a balanced effort to knock down the fundamentally sound Tigers. Five players for Oak Hill Academy (VA) finished in double figures led by 2017 Lindell Wigginton who finished with 17 points, 6 assists, and 4 rebounds. Other double digit scorers were 2016 Alabama commit Braxton Key who had 12 points and 7 rebounds, 2016 Virginia Tech commit Khadim Sy who played a huge role in the win, finishing with 13 points and 10 rebounds, 2017 Creighton commit Ty-Shon Alexander who had 11 points, and 2017 Devontae Shuler who had 13. 2017 PF Josip Vranknic led the way for the Tigers with 18 points and 6 rebounds. Battling foul trouble throughout, 2016 Utah State commit Koby McEwan finished with 12 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists and 2016 PF Jackson Rowe had 13 points and 7 rebounds on a number of strong finishes above the rim.
Montverde Academy (FL) looked prepared and ready to capture their fourth consecutive Dick’s Nationals title as they took down Providence Day (NC) handily 70-54. The Eagles were led by super-freshman RJ Barrett who finished with 20 points and 7 rebounds on 7-12 shooting from the field. 2018 PF Silvio De Sousa had a number of monstrous dunks finishing with 10 points in 11 minutes. Fellow frontcourt sophomore Simi Shittu also had a solid outing finishing with 8 points and 5 rebounds. For the Chargers, 2016 Tennessee commit Grant Williams had 12 points and 8 rebounds while fighting foul trouble and 2018 Devon Dotson finished with 11 points and 5 assists on a pour 4-17 from the field. Montverde Academy (FL) made it look easy against a very good Providence Day (FL) who came into the tournament as the #11 ranked team nationally. This youthful group of talented individuals is gelling at the right time and looks to be the favorite after the first day of basketball in New York.
In the big upset of the first day of play, Miller Grove (GA) took down Findlay Prep (NV) 67-65 on a last second floater from 2016 Aaron Augustin who finished with just 4 points on the night. The Pilots stars Skylar Mays, Markus Howard, and PJ Washington faced off against a scrappy team that was very well coached and shared the ball on the offensive end. Findlay Prep (NV) came into the event playing a very weak national schedule and battle-tested Miller Grove (GA) took advantage gritting out the tough two point win. 2016 McDonald’s All American Alterique Gilbert showed up big in the monumental win for a Miller Grove (GA) program that has won 7 of the last 8 Georgia state finals. Gilbert finished with 20 points and 4 assists in the win, coming up with two big threes in the fourth to give Miller Grove (GA) the momentum. Miller Grove had big nights from senior’s Raylon Richardson who finished with 12 points and 5 rebounds and Colin Young who finished with 10 points on the night. Findlay Prep (NV) was led by 2016 LSU commit Skylar Mays who finished with 21 points and 5 rebounds on 9-13 shooting and a number of smooth finishes around the basket. 2017 PJ Washington finished with 15 points, 13 rebounds, and 3 blocks against a smaller Wolverines front line, and 2017 Markus Howard knocked down three 3’s and had 13 points.
Overall, the first day of action was filled with excitement and passion. La Lumiere (IN) captured their first ever win in the event in their fourth try, and Miller Grove (GA) took down national powerhouse Findlay Prep (NV) in one of the biggest upsets in tournament history. Favorites Montverde Academy (FL) and Oak Hill Academy (VA) showed up ready to compete for the title in their first round match-ups, and the gym was electric as the games were action packed and the highlights were plentiful in the Big Apple. Tomorrow La Lumiere (IN) will take on Montverde Academy (FL) and Oak Hill Academy (VA) will face Miller Grove (GA) with an opportunity to play under the bright lights at Madison Square Garden on Saturday.
The semifinal games in the 8th annual Dick’s Nationals were full of physical play, talented players, and back and forth, action packed contests. The first game of the day pitted La Lumiere (IN) against three time defending champion Montverde Academy (FL). In one of the biggest upsets in tournament history, Montverde Academy (FL) will not be playing in tomorrow’s championship game for the first time in five years after making the title game in the last four consecutive years. Oak Hill Academy (VA) fought off a very gritty Miller Grove (GA) team in the second match-up and will advance to their fifth title game appearance. We now know that this year we will crown a new champion at Dick’s Nationals, as Oak Hill Academy (VA) is 0-4 in title games and La Lumiere (IN) has won their first two games in tournament history over the weekend. Although the nation’s top team Chino Hills (CA) was not able to attend the national event, the first two days were filled with tight, action packed games that were worth the price of admission.
Down goes Frasier! Three-time defending Dick’s Nationals champion Montverde Academy (FL) is taken down by La Lumiere (IN) in the first semifinal match-up of the day on Friday. The Lakers took down Montverde Academy (FL) by playing tough defense, forcing Montverde to beat them from the outside, and extending the lead in the fourth quarter to put the #1 seed away. The Eagles shot 18-70 from the field, good for just 25.7% and shot an abysmal 8-26 from the free throw line (30.8%). Montverde Academy (FL) only had two players score in double figures as 2018 Silvio De Sousa finished with 15 points and 5 rebounds in 12 minutes of play, and Micah Potter finished with 11 points and 4 rebounds on an ugly 2-11 shooting from the field. The Lakers were led by 2017 superstar Brian Bowen who took over in the fourth quarter and finished with 16 points, 9 rebounds, and 3 assists; other key contributors to the Lakers attack were 2016 Texas commit James Banks who had 10 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 blocks and 2019 PG Tyger Campbell who had 11 points to go along with 4 assists and 4 steals on the day. La Lumiere (IN) is rolling right now and has won their first two games in event history, going 0-3 in their previous three trips. On Saturday, they will have an opportunity to complete their unexpected run and capture the coveted Dick’s Nationals championship if they can capture one more win over a very powerful Oak Hill Academy (VA).
The second semifinal match-up saw Oak Hill Academy (VA) take on Miller Grove (GA) in a
back and forth game that came down to the wire. Alterique Gilbert had a quality game for the Wolverines, as he finished with 19 points and showed off his ability to finish when slashing to the rim through contact of the bigger defenders; but it wasn’t enough to overcome a balanced Oak Hill Academy (VA) attack. Oak Hill Academy (VA) took home the win behind a balanced effort and had four players in double figures despite scoring only 47 points on the game. 2017 Matt Coleman came up big for the Warriors finishing with 11 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists. 2016 Alabama commit Braxton Key made his presence felt inside as he had 10 points and 8 rebounds, 2016 Virginia Tech commit Khadim Sy battled on the backboards finishing with 10 points and 7 rebounds, and Lindell Wigginton had 12 points to round out the double figure scorers for the Warriors. Miller Grove (GA) held a four point lead headed into the fourth quarter and controlled much of the third and early fourth quarter, but Oak Hill Academy (VA) proved to be too much in the late stages as their depth and talent wore the Wolverines down. A fatigued Wolverines team struggled in the fourth quarter and only managed to score 9 points in the final frame. Miller Grove (GA) opened some eyes in this years event and showed that grit and toughness can compete with talent and depth on the big stage at Dick’s Nationals.
Championship Game Roundup:
A new champion emerged in the 2016 Dick’s Nationals tournament as the Oak Hill Academy Warriors took down the La Lumiere Lakers 62-60 in an overtime thriller. The difference was a tip in at the buzzer from Virginia Tech commit Khadim Sy in the overtime period. Steve Smith and his team captured their first ever Dick’s Nationals title despite giving up an 18 point lead to allow the extra session. La Lumiere fought throughout the game although their top big man Jeremiah Tilmon went out with an injury in the first two minutes of the contest. Unfortunately the Lakers luck ran out after upsetting the three time defending champions Montverde Academy they couldn’t finish off their run with a Dick’s Nationals title.
Oak Hill Academy is now 1-4 in championship games at Dick’s Nationals and were led by Alabama commit Braxton Key who finished the contest with 20 points and 9 rebounds. 2017 Matt Coleman had 8 points, 7 assists, and 4 rebounds, 2017 Lindell Wigginton notched 16 points, 5 rebounds, and Khadim Sy had 9 points and 9 rebounds including the winning tip in. The Warriors used a balanced attack all weekend at Dick’s Nationals and the championship effort was no different.
On the other side of the ball La Lumiere had three double digit scorers as 2017 Brian Bowen had 20 points and 9 rebounds despite shooting just 6-22 from the field. Other double digit scorers were 2019 Tyger Campbell who had 12 points, 7 assists, and 4 rebounds and Isaiah Coleman-Lands who created a spark for the Lakers finishing with 13 points and 9 rebounds. La Lumiere came back from an 18 point deficit with just 4:33 remaining in the third quarter of play and had all the momentum heading into the overtime session, however in the end the Warriors just had too much depth.
The Warriors finally capture their first Dick’s Nationals title in their seventh trip to the event and end the season riding a 42 game winning streak. Next season the Warriors will bring back their dominant back-court as returning 2017’s Ty-Shon Alexander, Lindell Wigginton, Matt Coleman, and Devontae Shuler will look to lead the perennial power to another Dick’s Nationals title. Congratulations to the Warriors and coach Steve Smith on their first championship and another very successful high school basketball season.