NEPSAC Champions Crowned
The NEPSAC crowned six champions on Sunday, with Classes AA, AA, and A being played out at Rhode Island College and Clark University hosting Classes B, C, and D.
When it was all said and done Brewster Academy, Cushing Academy, Phillips Exeter Academy, Brooks School, St. Luke's School, and Storm King School walked away as champions.
Seeding held true in almost all classes as the six winners included five #1 seeds and one #2 seed.
Brewster Dominant in AAA Win
Brewster Academy came into Sunday's final with an undefeated record on the season and then turned in what had to be one of their more complete performances of the season. The Bobcats played with great energy and continuity, shared the ball, made shots, defended, and never let up for 40 minutes.
Makai Ashton-Langford won MVP honors, and extended a personal winning streak that began last spring, but this was truly a balanced performance as Sidney Wilson put on an incredible dunking exhibition in the first half while Thomas Allen, Michael Okauru, Aaron Wheeler, and Curtis Haywood all got going from the perimeter.
This was the 4th NEPSAC championship in the last five years for Brewster Academy and the 6th overall since 2008 for head coach Jason Smith and his program.
Cushing Takes AA Crown Back
Cushing and first year head coach James Cormier held on to beat the Tilton 57-50 in a defensive battle that wasn't decided until Wabissa Bede dove on a loose ball and, in one motion, flipped it ahead to a teammate for an uncontested lay-up at the other end with just over a minute to play.
Bede won MVP honors with 17 points, but more importantly led the team in virtually every way imagineable. David Duke added 16, including a number of high level plays, while Greg Kuakumensah came up big down the stretch as well.
This is Cushing's second NEPSAC title since 2014 and second straight appearance in a conference final.
Phillips Exeter Retakes Class A
After falling in a hotly contested Class A final a year ago, Phillips Exeter Academy and head coach Jay Tilton took back the class A crown on Sunday for their third NEPSAC championship in the last five years.
Exeter's lead held around double figures for the majority of the game but Suffield wouldn't go away and ended up cutting it all the way down to 2 with under a minute to play.
Javonte McCoy and Ben Eckstrom both made big free-throws down the stretch though to seal a 63-58 decision. McCoy and Jacob Grandison both scored 20 points to account for nearly two thirds of their team's production. Grandon, who remains unsigned, earned MVP honors.
Brooks Dominates Class B
For years they were a fixture in the NEPSAC semi-finals, then they had back-to-back finals appearances in 2014 and 2014. Now, they have won consecutive Class B championships and have established themselves as a dominant force in the NEPSAC.
John McVeigh's squad didn't win by less than 21 points this post-season in route to their second straight championship. They were never more dominant than in Sunday's final as they opened the game with a 32-8 run and took a 36-11 lead into halftime before ending with a 68-32 win.
Tamenang Choh took MVP honors but the story for this team has always been their depth as more than 10 players saw action in the first half and went on to see double figure minutes in the championship game.
St. Luke's Repeats in Class C
Just one week after defeating Greens Farms Academy in the FAA final, St. Luke's did it again with a 74-65 decision in the Class C finals.
St. Luke's led by as many as 14 at one point but GFA came storming back to tie the game at 53 with six minutes to play behind 23 points from Sunday Okeke and 22 from Cole Prowitt Smith.
The championship is St. Luke's second in a row and caps a 24-1 season and 49-2 record over the last two years. Walter Whyte earned MVP honors with 25 points while Jonas Harper (14), Joel Boyce (12) and Andrew Varoli (10) all finished in double figures as well.
Storm King Wins Class D
Storm King defended their top seed in the day's opener at Clark University on Sunday before going on to beat Wooster by a count of 55-44. Their latest championship run began with a quarterfinal win over Watkinson, followed by a decision vs. Christian Heritage in the semifinals, leading to Sunday's final.