Montverde Academy, ranked No. 1 nationally by ESPN and PrepNation, traded baskets with underdog Nashville, Tenn., Ensworth through a frenetic boys basketball first quarter on Thursday night.
The Eagles (12-0) finally got breathing room by getting stops. Montverde outscored Ensworth 20-2 to start the second period en route to a 98-78 victory in its own holiday classic. That decisive run came after a seesaw first quarter that ended with Montverde clinging to a 28-27 lead and Eagles coach Kevin Boyle demanding more effort from his team during the break between stanzas.
Montverde’s big men, Dakari Johnson and Devin Williams, both got out on the break for dunks and Jaylin Patterson came off the bench to score 11 points in less than a quarter during the surge. Johnson finished with 21 points, Williams with 19, and Patterson with 11. Another reserve, Justin Bibbs, scored 13 for a team that seems to be able to go deeper with every passing week.
“We looked lethargic at times and kind of picked our spots,” Boyle said after the win. “But give (Ensworth) credit. They space the floor and shoot it well.”
Orlando Christian Prep (8-2) also was challenged by a new-look Deltona (4-8), but broke away in the fourth quarter with Michael Walmer and Adonys Henriquez combining to make three 3-point shots.
Henriquez, a 6-5 junior who recently committed to sign with Miami, finished with 28 points for the Warriors.
Senior guard Marko Smith scored 24 for Deltona, which is 2-1 since Deltona Trinity Christian transfers Chad Brown (6-7, Soph.), Jerome Monroe (6-6, Jr.) and Torrey Howell (5-8, Soph.) were cleared to participate.
Great Florida Shootout scene
Antwon Clayton, a 6-foot-5 junior, had a career-high 27 points to go with 16 rebounds and five blocked shots to propel Eustis (9-5) to an 83-76 win over Gainesville, Ga., East Hall (3-5) as the Great Florida Shootout opened at the Kissimmee Civic Center.
Undefeated Oviedo (12-0) and hometown Osceola (6-6) also advanced to Friday’s semifinal round.
East Hall rallied from 19 down to tie Eustis at 52. The Panthers regained control with a 7-2 run and made nine consecutive free throws when they counted most. Eustis was 27-of-36 for the game (75-percent).
Clayton lifted off for two emphatic high-rise dunks and also skied above the rim for a blocked shot that thumped the wall beyond the end line.
“He plays 94-feet like nobody I’ve seen in my 29 years of coaching,” Panthers coach Mike Bowe said.
Eustis plays a 3:30 p.m. Silver Bracket semifinal on Thursday against Toronto St. Michael’s (17-1), a top five Canadian team facing U.S. schools for the first time in 12 seasons under coach Jeff Zownir. The winner will face either Fort Lauderdale Dillard (8-5) or South Atlanta (9-1) on Saturday night.
R.J. June scored 23 of his game-high 26 points in the second half as Oviedo finished strong in a 71-54 win over Palm Bay Heritage (10-3). The Lions ended the game on a 24-10 run.
“We didn’t give them the shots they got in the first half,” said Oviedo coach Ed Kershner. “And R.J. really took over inside.”
Oviedo now meets Osceola, which used its defensive quickness to disrupt a young Metarie Park, Lou., Country Day team in a 56-42 victory. The other side of that Gold Bracket has South Miami (10-3) meeting Powder Springs, Ga., McEachern (6-5) on Friday.
No. 2 8A Deerfield Beach (18-1) held eighth-ranked Boone (8-4) to 12-of-47 shooting from the field and beat the Braves 46-37 in a Kingdom of the Sun quarterfinal game in Ocala. Schuyler Rimmer had 13 points, 16 rebounds and five blocked shots for Boone, but was 5-of-19 from the floor.
Pedro Lalor hit the go-ahead 3-point shot with 22 seconds remaining on a penetrate and pitch pass from Rashawn Powell as Dr. Phillips (9-4) edged Plantation American Heritage 70-69 in the consolation bracket.
Lake Highland Prep (8-5), playing its eighth game without standout junior Joel Berry due to knee surgery, was knocked out by Coral Springs Christian 64-55. Berry is expected to be back for January games.
Royals score 97
Hudson Price and Fletcher Magee combined for nine 3-point shots made and 53 points as First Academy (10-1) won 97-82 over Poinciana in a quarterfinal at Lake Mary Prep’s Rock Holiday Classic. The Royals scored 56 in the first half.
Lake Mary Prep and Orangewood also advanced.
Arrow Force winners
Host Seminole (6-4) and state-ranked Apopka (10-2) scored wins at the Arrow Force Holiday Classic.
DeLand, NSB prevail
Desmond Mitchell poured in 31 points to lead New Smyrna Beach (10-2) past Olympia and host DeLand (8-4) also won at the Gus Gibbs Rotary Classic. Lake Minneola has replaced East River in the consolation bracket.
Boys basketball tournament summaries and schedules:
Great Florida Shootout
At Kissimmee Civic Center
McEachern 48, Colonial 41
Records: M 6-5, C 2-10.
Buzz: Tymashian Clemons had 16 points and Braxton Jalil 14 and 9 rebounds for Powder Springs (Ga.) McEachern. Joshua Pineiro had 16 points, 4 rebounds and 3 steals for Colonial.
Eustis 83, East Hall 76
Records: Eu 9-5, EH 3-5.
Buzz: Antwon Clayton had 27 points, 16 rebounds and 5 blocked shots for Eustis. Dustin Duham added 24 points and Anthony Allen 12 points, 10 rebounds and 5 steals. Brian Edwards scored 21 for East Hall of Gainesville, Ga.
Oviedo 71, Heritage 54
Records: O 12-0, H 10-3.
Buzz: R.J. June had 26 points, 8 rebounds, 4 steals and 2 rebounds to lead Oviedo. Matt Milon added 19 points. Leron Smith scored 22 for Palm Bay Heritage.
South Miami 69, Celebration 43
Records: SM 10-3, C 9-5.
Buzz: John Cratit scored 19 points and Jorge Perez-Laham 13for South Miami. Kordell Johnson had 15 points and Johnny Victor 11 for Celebration.
South Atlanta 69, Gateway 59
Records: SA 9-1, G 10-4.
Buzz: Naquavious King had 23 points and Kertiss Baisden 13 rebounds for South Miami. Felix Gonzalez had 22 points and Justin Peters 17 for Gateway, combining for 9 three-pointers.
Osceola 56, Metairie Park Country Day 42
Records: 6-6, CD 8-5.
Buzz: Jamie Morris had 14 points and Tre Perry 10 for the Kowboys. Cortez Edwards added 6 and 6 steals.
Toronto St. Michael’s 79, Chamberlain 57
Fort Lauderdale Dillard 54, St. Petersburg 49
East Hall vs. Chamberlain 9 a.m.
St. Petersburg vs. Gateway noon
Eustis vs. St. Michael’s 3:30
Dillard vs. South Atlanta 7
Colonial vs. Celebration 10:30 a.m.
Heritage vs. Country Day 2
McEachern vs. South Miami 5
Oviedo vs. Osceola 8:30
Montverde Academy Holiday Classic
Orlando Christian Prep 58, Deltona 49
Records: OCP 8-2, D 4-9.
Buzz: Adonys Henriquez scored 28 points and Justin Jack 11 to lead OCP. Marko Smith scored 24 for Deltona.
Montverde 98, Ensworth 78
Records: M 12-0; E 9-4.
Buzz: Dakari Johnson had 21 points and D’Angelo Russell 19 for Montverde. Jalin Patterson scored 11, all in the first half. Corneilius Elder had 26 and Andrew Fleming 23 for Ensorth of Nashville, Tenn.
Ensworth vs. OCP 6
Deltona vs. Montverde 7:30
Kingdom of the Sun
At Ocala Vanguard
Deerfield Beach 46, Boone 37
Records: DB 18-1, B 8-4.
Buzz: Javaris Jenkins had 13 points for the balanced Bucks. Schuyler Rimmer had 13 points, 16 rebounds and 5 blocks for Boone, and B.J. Taylor scored 16 points.
Dr. Phillips 70, American Heritage 69
Records: DP 9-4, AH 8-6.
Buzz: RaShawn Powell had 27 points, Tyriefe Beard 21 and 8 rebounds, and Pedro Lalor 15 for the Panthers in consolation bracket. Kobe Eubanks scored 19 points for Plantation AH.
Coral Springs Christian 64,
Lake Highland Prep 55
Records: CS 9-4; LH 8-5.
Buzz: Nuri Zanna had 18 points and 16 rebounds for the Crusaders. Jay Henderson led Lake Highland with 23 points.
Rutherford 55, Miami Sr. 41
Forest 56, Holmes County 42
West Gadsden 61. Vanguard 60
Cincinnati La Salle 65, Gainesville 49
Louisville Ballard 64, Morgan County (Ga.) 57
Forest vs. Dr. Phillips noon
Rutherford vs. Coral Springs Christian 1:30
Boone vs. Gainesville 3
Vanguard vs. Morgan County 6
West Gadsden vs. Ballard 7:30
Deerfield Beach vs. La Salle 9
Arrow Force Holiday Classic
at Seminole, Sanford
Apopka 69, Louisville, Ky., Christian 46
Buzz: Joe Chealey’s 26 points and Haleem Brown’s 19 led Apopka (10-2).
Cocoa 54, Jones 45
Buzz: Tracy Davis and Chauncey Gardner had 17 points for Cocoa. Anfernee Blair had 14 points for Jones.
Lake Worth Park Vista 46, Trinity Prep 41
Buzz: Mitch Lameriello paced Trinity Prep with 13 points.
Seminole 69, Titusville 41
Buzz: Earl Williams tallied 12 points for Seminole (6-4). Devonte Richardson added 11, and Kelvin Mills chipped in with 10.
Jones vs. Louisville Christian 1
Trinity Prep vs. Titusville 2:30
Cocoa vs. Apopka 4
Seminole vs. Park Vista 5:30
Rock Holiday Classic
at Lake Mary Prep
First Academy 97, Poinciana 72
Buzz: Hudson Price scored 28 points for TFA (10-1), and Fletcher Magee added 25. James Flood led Poinciana with 15.
Orangewood 67, North Miami Beach 62
Buzz: Joe Giddens had 16 points for Orangewood (6-4).
Lake Mary Prep 75, St. Augustine St. Joseph 49
Buzz: Hayden Mosley had 30 points for LMP (7-5).
North Miami Beach vs. St. Joseph, 4:30
First Academy vs. Melbourne Holy Trinity, 6
Lake Mary prep vs. Orangewood, 7:30
Jim Clark Hornet Holiday Classic
at Bishop Moore
St. Cloud 52, Pine Ridge 37
Buzz: Ray DeJesus scored 24 points for St. Cloud (1-10). Brandon Barfield had 8 points for Pine Ridge (5-6).
Ocoee 52, Winter Springs 44, OT
Buzz: David Efianayi scored 18 points for Ocoee (7-6). Jalen Ortiz tallied 9 points for Winter Springs (2-10).
Lake Howell 62, St Johns Bartram Trail 59 2OT
Buzz: Bradon Maxwell netted 30 points for Lake Howell. Ahmari Sosa chipped in with 18 points. Tyler Irish recorded 20 points for Bartram Trail (10-1).
Father Lopez Holiday Tournament
At Daytona Beach Father Lopez
Leesburg 84, Rockledge 55
Buzz: Troy Willis’ 25 points and 9 rebounds paced Leesburg (8-3). Undra Mitchem and Jabri Dunham each added 14 points and 5 rebounds.
Father Lopez 77, Jacksonville Harvest Community 35
Buzz: Malik Maitland had 16 points for Father Lopez (10-1).
Jacksonville Bishop Kenny 80, Tampa Catholic 69
Mainland 48, West Palm Beach King’s Academy 39
Rockledge vs. Tampa Catholic 10:30 a.m.
Harvest Community vs. King’s Academy 1:30
Leesburg vs. Bishop Kenny 4:30
Father Lopez vs. Mainland 7:30
Gus Gibbs Rotary Tournament
New Smyrna Beach 64, Olympia 58
Buzz: Dez Mitchell scored 31 points for NSB (11-2).
DeLand 59, St. George (Bahamas) 56
Buzz: Kyle Epping scored 24 points for DeLand (8-4) against St. George (14-4).
Delray Beach Village Academy 58, Nation Ford, S.C., 56
Deltona Trinity d. East River, forfeit
Olympia vs. Nation Ford 3
Lake Minneola vs. St. George 4:30
New Smyrna Beach vs. Village Academy 6
DeLand vs. Deltona Trinity 7:30
Rock Holiday Classic
At Windermere Prep
Holmes (Ky.) 56, Lyman 40"
Buzz: Meschech Floyd had 15 points for Lyman.
Windermere Prep 96, Etowah (Ga.) 91
Buzz: Barry Babbitt had 24 points for Windermere.
Island Coast vs. Lyman 3:30
Etowah (Ga.) vs. North Laurel (Ky.) 5
Holmes (Ky.) vs. Lincoln County (Ky.) 6:30
Windermere vs. Mars Area (Pa.) 8
Gateway Holiday Classic
at Montgomery County, Kentucky
Edgewater 92, Franklin County (Ky.) 54
Buzz: Chase Early led Edgewater (10-1) with 17 points.
UNC Asheville Holiday Classic
at Asheville, N.C."
Master’s Academy, 60, Cannon School (N.C.) 47
Buzz: Matt Richards and Nathan Delgado scored 16 points each, and Matt Timmer added 8 points, 16 rebounds and 7 blocks for Master’s (6-6).
Santa Fe Hitchcock Challenge
at Alachua Santa Fe
East Ridge 77, North Marion 58
Buzz: Josh Phillips had 23 point as East River (8-4) advanced to the semifinals. Austin Mills chipped in with 17 points.
Adidas Holiday Slam
at Miami Faith Christian
Faith Christian 67, Miami Dr. Krop 55
Buzz: Jorge Rosa tallied 18 points for 2A Faith (10-0) against the 8A Lightning. Junior Messiah added 14.
Freedom 80, Riviera Suncoast 68
Buzz: Jon Laurent had 23 points and 10 rebounds for Freedom (8-3). Sidney Coakley added 21 points and 6 rebounds.
Buddy Collings is a senior sports writer covering high schools for the Orlando Sentinel. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.