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2021 games

2021 GIRLS SEMIFINALS: FREMONT VS. WESTLAKE

by Christopher Lawlor FORT MYERS, Fla. – Here’s a trick question: Raven Johnson or Taniya Latson? Well, it’s who you choose or like picking you poison. Either way, you lose. With the Westlake (Atlanta, Ga.) backcourt operating on high octane it severely limits the opposition. Do you think fourth-seeded Fremont (Plain City, Utah) has seen this athleticism and quickness anywhere in Utah? Likely not. The Westlake guard tandem proved lethal, again, combining for 51, 14 rebounds and 13 assists Friday afternoon in a 64-54 win over the Silverwolves in the GEICO High School Nationals girls’ semifinal at Suncoast Credit Union…
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March 31, 2021
2021 games

2021 BOYS SEMIFINALS: IMG VS. SUNRISE

by Christopher Lawlor FORT MYERS, Fla. – Kennedy Chandler showed he can flat-out dominate a game. Really, he can, and he did on Friday afternoon on high school basketball’s biggest stage. Just when Sunrise Christian Academy (Bel Aire, Kan.) was headed to the exits, trailing by seven points in the fourth quarter, the future Tennessee Volunteer and McDonald’s All-American rose to the occasion. Chandler, a rising star from Memphis, Tenn., scored 11 of his game-high 25 points in the final quarter and the Buffaloes topped third-seeded IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.), 70-63, in the semifinals of the GEICO High School Nationals…
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March 31, 2021
2021 games

2021 BOYS SEMIFINALS: AZ COMPASS VS. MONTVERDE

by Christopher Lawlor FORT MYERS, Fla. – Caleb Houstan was relatively quiet for 31 minutes on Friday afternoon. The future Michigan man by way of Canada came to Montverde (Fla.) Academy for big-time game like this. The game, the season were on the line and there was little time to plan but the 6 foot 8 forward reacted in an instinctive way. Houston entered the fourth quarter with only three points but his final shot, a tip-in with 12 seconds left was difference when the Eagles avoided an upset-bid from fourth-seeded AZ Compass Prep (Chandler, Ariz.) during a pulsating 51-49…
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March 31, 2021
2021 games

2021 GIRLS FINALS: PAUL VI VS. WESTLAKE

by Christopher Lawlor FORT MYERS, Fla. – Perfection! To enter the GEICO High School National with an undefeated record is one thing but to emerge from the girls’ bracket with that unblemished mark puts a team in another stratosphere. Take a bow Westlake Lady Lions of Atlanta, Georgia, you’ve earned it. Better get used to it: 2021 GEICO Nationals Champions. Westlake earned the coveted moniker for the first time in program history Saturday morning after dispatching third-seeded Paul VI (Chantilly, Va.), 70-50, at the Suncoast Credit Union Arena. The game was decided in the second quarter when the Lady Lions…
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March 31, 2021
2021 games

2021 BOYS FINAL: SUNRISE VS. MONTVERDE

by Christopher Lawlor FORT MYERS, Fla. – The Montverde (Fla.) Academy are the gold standard of high school basketball. That’s simply undisputable. When you capture a fifth GEICO High School Nationals championship in nine years that’s where the conversation begins. The Eagles added a ring for the thumb on Saturday afternoon following a 62-52 victory over second-seeded Sunrise Christian Academy (Bel Aire, Kan.) at the Suncoast Credit Union Arena on the campus of Florida SouthWestern State College. When Kevin Boyle was lured to the central Florida private school a decade ago from St. Patrick (Elizabeth, N.,J.) his mandate was to…
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March 31, 2021
2019 games

2019 Boys Championship Game

By Christopher Lawlor NEW YORK – The feeling was palpable throughout the room. Somewhere in a distant gymnasium and meeting room, the basketball axiom that defense wins championships rang loud and clear. Coaches could care less about points unless they have more in the score book than their opponents. IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) pleased many a coach Saturday afternoon when it defeated top-seeded La Lumiere School (La Porte, Ind.), 66-55, in the 11th GEICO High School Nationals final at sold-out Christ the King High School’s Father John Savage Memorial Gymnasium. “Everybody talked about our talent, talent, talent but these guys…
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February 12, 2021
2019 games

2019 Girls Championship Game

By Christopher Lawlor NEW YORK – New Hope Academy of Landover Hills, Maryland left no doubt: National Champions. In perhaps the greatest field ever assembled for a girls’ basketball postseason tournament, the Tigers were on the prowl and prevailed on Saturday morning. New Hope is a relatively new team on the national scene and in less than two years, the Tigers are atop the girls’ hoop planet. Please, point the index finger skyward because New Hope Academy is No. 1. That’s the facts and no one can deny it. Sticking to the basics with all players buying into a blue…
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February 12, 2021
2019 games

2019 BOYS SEMIFINALS GAME 2 – LA LUMIERE (IND.) VS OAK HILL (VA.)

By Christopher Lawlor NEW YORK – La Lumiere School (La Porte, Ind.) survived Friday. It’s hard to script the finish of the Lakers’ thrilling 58-57 cliffhanger over fourth-seeded Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) in the GEICO High School Nationals semifinals at Christ the King High School’s Father John Savage Memorial Gymnasium. When you dissect the final 22.4 fateful seconds, it was schoolboy basketball at its very peak and a Cinderella ending that was born out of the New York City but scrapped when Cam Thomas’ 15-foot baseline jumper clanged off the rim as time expired for Oak Hill.…
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February 12, 2021
2019 games

2019 Boys Semifinals Game 1 – IMG (Fla.) vs Montverde (Fla.)

By Christopher Lawlor NEW YORK – IMG Academy of Bradenton, Florida just entered uncharted waters: The nascent program is one win from a National Championship. It came out of nowhere Friday afternoon. Actually, it was a stunner considering the opponent and the circumstances. First, the scene and the situation. Defending champion Montverde (Fla.) Academy was cruising and led by 16 points at the start of the fourth quarter. It should not stun anyone but again the opponent was nationally ranked and now cross state rivals IMG. There is something to be said about a team that is steadfast when staring…
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February 12, 2021
2019 games

2019 girls semifinals Game 2 – Centennial (NV) (61) vs St. John’s (DC)

By Christopher Lawlor NEW YORK – When in doubt lean on Azzi Fudd. If you didn’t that would have been a shame because when the nation’s top schoolgirl is in your lineup that’s your go-to player with the game and more on the line. Fudd, the 5-11 All-American, was the given the chance to win it for St. John’s College (Washington, D.C.) Friday afternoon with the score tied at 61. Once Fudd took the inbounds pass, she was bumped with 8.3 seconds. Calmly, coolly she drilled both free throws but the Cadets weren’t off the hook. SJC needed all the…
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February 12, 2021