National Prep Championships Day 1 Recap
The north shore of Massachusetts got an unexpected six inches of snow on Monday, but that couldn’t stop the hundreds of fans and division I coaches who lined the walls of the gymnasium of Endicott College to check out the quarter-final games of the National Prep Championship. Those who braved the storm were in for a treat as all four games were played at a high level and contested down the stretch.
Game 1 – Bridgton Academy 83 Patterson School 73
After claiming the NEPSAC Class A Championship on Sunday, Bridgton was still riding high coming into Monday’s opening quarter-final. Malik Stith picked up right where he left off a day earlier as he scored 19 points, including four three-pointers. The ever consistent Duane Smith contributed 17 while Carl Blair added 12 for the Wolverines. Bridgton opened up an early lead and was able to sustain it throughout the second half as they shot the ball tremendously well throughout the duration of the game, connecting on a whopping 17 three-pointers. Rashanti Harris led Patterson with 19 points and 12 rebounds while Providence bound point guard Vincent Council added 14 points and 11 assists.
Game 2 – Hargrave Military Academy 71 Winchendon School 69
Hargrave held a slim advantage throughout the majority of the first half, but was able to extend that margin to 44-32 only a few minutes into the second half. But that was when Luis Leao and Preye Preboye stepped up for Winchendon. The forward duo played with incredible effort and intensity as they were all over the glass and sparked a Winchendon run that made it a one possession game down the stretch. Ultimately, Hargrave was able to pull off a hard fought win but you can’t overestate the impact that Leao and Preboye had in this game. Preboye led Winchendon with 21 while Chris Braswell had 19 for Hargrave.
Game 3 – Brewster Academy 97 Notre Dame Prep 87
Arguably the day’s most exciting game as both teams featured an abundance of athletic and talented players who were flying around both rims making plays. The game went back and forth throughout the first 28 minutes before Brewster went on what proved to be a decisive run. Naadir Tharpe and Thomas Robinson were the difference as Tharpe made a number of absolutely spectacular passes while also shooting the ball very well from the perimeter. Meanwhile, Robinson had a collection of thunderous dunks, many of which coming via a Tharpe dish. Tharpe had 15 points and 12 assists for Brewster while Robinson had 26 and Andrew Fitzgerald 27. Devan Bailey also deserves a ton of praise for a truly impressive defensive performance on Notre Dame point guard Johnnie Lacey. Prep was led by Sean Kilpatrick who had 24, scoring in every which way as well as Jake Barnett who finished with 20.
Game 4 – Tilton School 96 South Kent School 88
When Alex Oriakhi picked up his third foul with 12 minutes still to play in the first half it looked as if this was South Kent’s game. But Jamal Coombs-McDaniel had other plans. The UConn bound swingman had 23 first half points as he put his team on his back and carried them to a 47-37 lead at the break. It was more of the same in the second as Coombs-McDaniel continued to score both behind the three-point line and in the lane as he finished with a day high 41 points. Kevin Parrom and Mike Burwell were both impressive for South Kent as they finished with 19 & 18 respectively. Gerard Coleman added 17 for Tilton, Alex Oriakhi 11, while Omari Lawrence had 14 for South Kent.
The semi-finals will tip off at 12pm as Bridgton Academy will face Tilton School in a match-up of the NEPSAC’s Class A & B champions. At 2pm Hargrave Military Academy will meet Brewster Academy in a rematch of last year’s semi-final. The semi-final victors will meet at 8pm on Tuesday night as the National Prep School Champions will be crowned.