Game 1 – No. 5 Mouth of Wilson (VA) Oak Hill vs. No. 4 Branson (MO) Link Academy
Final – Link Academy (81) – Oak Hill (67)
Opening day, opening game, and the energy was already electric at the Suncoast Credit Union Arena. The most significant storyline of this game is this was Hall of Fame Oak Hill coach Steve Smith’s last game. He has been a trendsetter and achieved an incredible career, third all-time in high school wins.
Fresh off an appearance in the McDonald’s All-American game, On3 Consensus No. 12 Jordan Walsh had a big second half. His motor is his elite feature. At 6-foot-7, he uses that to his advantage on both ends of the floor for Link Academy. The Arkansas signee finished with a game high 23 points on 9-10 shooting from the field. He added eight rebounds and seven assists.
Walsh’s Link Academy teammate and fellow McDonald’s All-American On3 Consensus No. 16 Julian Phillips flexed his scoring chops in the second half. Phillips used his length in the passing lanes and got out ahead of the break in transition. The development has been immense this season for Phillips as the unsigned senior finished with 20 points and six rebounds.
For Oak Hill, On3 Consensus No. 50 Judah Mintz was their consistent threat. Mintz is a paint-touch fiend, and he lived there both finishing and distributing. On the day he will announce his commitment, Mintz finished with 21 points, 6-10 from the field, seven assists. With his feet set, On3 Consensus No. 9 Devin Ree, a de-commitment from LSU, is as pure a catch and shoot player as you will find in the country. Ree finished with 17 points on 4-8 shooting from three.
Link Academy will play tomorrow (4/1) at4 4:30 PM EST. They will face off against the winner of the Napa (Calif.) Prolific Prep and Bel Aire (KS) Sunrise Christian game.
Game 2 – No. 3 Montverde (FL) Acdemy vs. No. 6 Chandler (AZ) AZ Compass
Final – Montverde Academy (72) – AZ Compass (63)
Fresh off a McDonald’s All-American game MVP award, the On3 Consensus No. 4 Dariq Whitehead continued to show his confidence as a shot-maker. While the shots were not falling as efficiently as they have been all year, he was getting to the line, and his wing defense is possibly the most underrated aspect of his game. While he was 3-10 from the field for 12 points, he finished with nine assists and three steals.
Less than a month ago, On3 Consensus No. 29, Malik Reneau de-committed from Florida. He was the difference-maker for Montverde in this one. The lefty knows who he is as a player and knows exactly how to get to his most effective spots on the floor. Reneau had a smooth 19 points on 7-11 from the field. He added eight rebounds and two steals.
For AZ Compass, 2023 On3 Consensus No. 9, Kylan Boswell, an Arizona commitment, was the steadying factor. He takes good care of the ball while rebounding and making shots.
It is also worthwhile to note the game On3 three-star Lamar Washington played. The Texas Tech commit is as steady as they come, with his ability to defend, handle, and consistently make plays.
Montverde will play tomorrow (4/1) at 2:30 PM EST. They will play the winner of the Bradenton (FL) IMG Academy and LaPorte (IN) La Lumiere game.
Game 3 – No. 2 Bradenton (FL) IMG Academy vs. No. 7 LaPorte (IN) La Lumiere
Final – IMG Academy (76) – La Lumiere (51)
Last weekend On3 Consensus No. 4 Keyonte George was in Chicago, Illinois taking part in the McDonald’s All-American game festivities. The Baylor signee came out on fire, finishing the first half, 4-5 from three for 12 points. He continued to show his total game, finishing with 22 points, eight rebounds, and five assists.
While George kick-started things, On3 Consensus No. 9 Jarace Walker closed it. The Houston signee was simply too much in iso one-on-one situations. He is physically stronger than most on the floor, but he is also a determined scorer with a handle and various finishes in the paint. Walker filled the stat-line, and he continues to have one of the more dominant seasons in the country. Walker’s 23 points were a game-high here. He was 10-14 from the field and added seven rebounds, four assists, and five blocks.
One of the lone consistent bright spots for La Lumiere was 6-foot-5 senior Ryan Mabrey. His role on this team was as a floor spacer, and he made shots at a consistent rate. He is an unsigned senior and carries Vermont and some mid to mid-plus offers. High IQ wing scorer finished with a team-high 15 points on 6-10 from the field and 3-5 from three.
Three-star Taj Manning showed why he was such a commodity for Kansas State, with spot threes and area rebounds. At 6-foot-7, he has a good frame and has carved out his niche. He had 14 points and nine rebounds here.
IMG Academy will play tomorrow (4/1) at 2:30 PM EST against Montverde Academy.
Game 4 – No. 1 Bel Aire (KS) Sunrise Christian vs. No. 8 Napa (Calif.) Prolific Prep
Final – Prolific Prep (59) – Sunrise Christian (56)
McDonald’s All-Americans MJ Rice and Adem Bona sat this one out for Prolific Prep. The general thought coming in was that the top-ranked team in the country, Sunrise Christian, would cruise into the second round.
Pope’s shot-making was consistent throughout the game. He showcased a handle that got him to his spots and range on his jumper from multiple levels. Pope’s most recent offer was from Oregon State. The 6-foot-1 guard finished with 23 points on 8-17 from the field and 5-12 from three.
White took the game over in the second half. He had the ball in his hands and was the one who was creating the offense. White also took on the assignment to guard McDonald’s All-American Gradey Dick and hold him to 1-10 shooting from the field. The 6-foot-6 guard finished 4-10 from three with 17 points, seven rebounds, and four assists.
White also created the final play. He stood on the wing in a triple-threat position, letting the clock run to less than ten seconds. White started his dribble, attacked the paint, and found 6-foot-8 sophomore Zion Sensley in the corner for the go-ahead three.
Scotty Middleton, 2023 On3 Consensus No. 33, led the way for Sunrise Christian with 16 points. He was 4-4 from beyond the arc, showing he could knock down shots off the catch and the bounce.
It was a tale of two halves for On3 Consensus No. 22 Mark Mitchell. The Duke signee started off shaky in the first half, only to end with 15 points on 7-12 shooting from the field. The 6-foot-9 forward added eight rebounds.
Prolific Prep will play at 4:30 PM EST tomorrow (4/1) against Link Academy.