Dr. Phillips Panthers 63 – Wheeler Wildcats 62
The quick pace of the game suited both teams as they raced up and down the court in an up-tempo style of play that never lulled. There were numerous lead changes with neither team able to pull away.
Wheeler relied on physicality and the post play of 6’6″ junior forward Charles Mitchell; Mitchell muscled his way to 22 points. Dr. Phillips leaned on its guard play. DePaul commit Shane Larkin displayed fantastic leadership and hit big shots throughout the game en route to 18 points. 5’10″ guards Isaac Lane and Rashawn Powell showed off their outside shooting touch with two 3-pointers each.
As the clock ticked away down the stretch, both teams made crucial mistakes. The Panthers chose not to foul the Wildcats late in the game even though Dr. Phillips was trailing and there is no shot clock in high school basketball. Wheeler could have ran out the clock and left with a one-point victory; instead, the Wildcats played too fast and turned the ball over.
Darius Andrews made the game-winning shot at the other end to finish with 21 points.
After two days of blowout games, the thriller was exactly what the crowd needed to get energized and excited.
Dr. Phillips will now play Oak Hill in the first semifinal game on Monday night at 6:30pm. Wheeler will play host Iolani on Monday at 3:30pm.
Oak Hill Warriors 81 – Iolani Raiders 53
Despite the 28-point victory by Oak Hill, head coach Steve Smith said, “We played their tempo, especially in the first half. We didn’t get into our press as much as we wanted to.”
Oak Hill was clearly the better team but Smith felt that the offense was flat all night. The lone bright spot was point guard and Duke commit Quinn Cook, who carried the scoring load with 31 points, including six 3-pointers. “Quinn is a good shooter. We were out of whack on offense, so Quinn took it upon himself to score,” Smith said.
Cook’s six treys included a few 25-footers. “There were a couple of bombs in there, and I maybe wish he would’ve taken a few more steps, but he was making them, and I’m not going to tell him not to take those shots,” Smith said. “They weren’t bad shots.”
The Raiders will play Wheeler on Monday at 3:30pm. The Warriors will face Dr. Phillips in the first semifinal game on Monday night at 6:30pm. The key to that game will be how well the Warriors can defend against Shane Larkin. “We have to control Larkin. He’s a really good player,” Smith said. “We have to get him out of his rhythm. He makes them go.”
Mount Vernon Knights 59 – Mason County Royals 53
Mason County, after a subpar performance against Kaimuki, played a gutsy game against Mount Vernon. The Knights were athletically superior and played a fast-paced New York playground style of basketball. However, they continually turned the ball over, which almost cost them the game.
The Royals hung around, and came back from a double-digit deficit in the fourth quarter to cut the lead to one. But, they couldn’t get over the hump. In the end, the clutch play of Jabarie Hinds sealed the Royals’ fate.
Hinds, a WVU commit, put his coast-to-coast speed on display. He was unstoppable in the open court, and used a variety of moves around the basket to finish fast breaks. Hinds’s highlight-reel finishes, however, played second fiddle to his clutch free-throw shooting. He made 7/8 down the stretch to secure the game for Mount Vernon, and finished with 22 points.
Treg Setty, Mason County’s versatile 6’9″ power forward, led all scorers with 24 points. Setty, who usually likes to float around the perimeter, focused on battling underneath the basket. He provided a strong post presence against a guard-dominated team, which greatly neutralized Mount Vernon’s speed.
If the USA Today No. 14-ranked Knights want to defeat a more polished Montverde team on Monday night at 8:00pm, they must learn to take care of the ball, play more cohesively, and possibly slow the game down. Mason County will play fellow Kentucky team Lexington Catholic on Monday at 5:00pm.
Montverde Eagles 59 – Lexington Catholic Knights 47
Lexington Catholic came in with a game plan to combat Montverde’s athleticism by utilizing a full-court press and trapping effectively. For a while, it worked. The Eagles had trouble inbounding and bringing the ball up the court.
Montverde head coach Kevin Sutton was visibly frustrated with the turnovers. In addition, the Eagles were consistently missing easy buckets inside. He told me after the game, “We missed shots we shouldn’t have missed. We actually have a good press-breaker but we didn’t attack the way we wanted to. You have to give credit to Lexington Catholic for the way they played and defended.”
The Knights were scrappy and stayed in the game by hustling. They only trailed by one after the first quarter at 15-14 and actually led 25-24 at halftime. Kentucky baseball commit Taylor Martin opened the game with a deep 3-pointer, and then continued to battle inside for tough baskets. Though only 6’5″, his physical play netted him 19 points and helped Lexington Catholic take the lead in the first half.
But in the end, Montverde’s talent proved to be too much. 6’8″ senior forward Steve Missi established his presence in the post and dominated the paint in the second half. Missi led all scorers with 22 points.
The Eagles will play Mount Vernon on Monday night at 8:00pm in the featured semifinal game. The Knights will play fellow Kentucky team Mason County on Monday at 5:00pm.