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2019 games

2019 Boys Championship Game

By Christopher Lawlor NEW YORK – The feeling was palpable throughout the room. Somewhere in a distant gymnasium and meeting room, the basketball axiom that defense wins championships rang loud and clear. Coaches could care less about points unless they have more in the score book than their opponents. IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) pleased many a coach Saturday afternoon when it defeated top-seeded La Lumiere School (La Porte, Ind.), 66-55, in the 11th GEICO High School Nationals final at sold-out Christ the King High School’s Father John Savage Memorial Gymnasium. “Everybody talked about our talent, talent, talent but these guys…
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February 12, 2021
2019 games

2019 Girls Championship Game

By Christopher Lawlor NEW YORK – New Hope Academy of Landover Hills, Maryland left no doubt: National Champions. In perhaps the greatest field ever assembled for a girls’ basketball postseason tournament, the Tigers were on the prowl and prevailed on Saturday morning. New Hope is a relatively new team on the national scene and in less than two years, the Tigers are atop the girls’ hoop planet. Please, point the index finger skyward because New Hope Academy is No. 1. That’s the facts and no one can deny it. Sticking to the basics with all players buying into a blue…
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February 12, 2021
2019 games

2019 BOYS SEMIFINALS GAME 2 – LA LUMIERE (IND.) VS OAK HILL (VA.)

By Christopher Lawlor NEW YORK – La Lumiere School (La Porte, Ind.) survived Friday. It’s hard to script the finish of the Lakers’ thrilling 58-57 cliffhanger over fourth-seeded Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) in the GEICO High School Nationals semifinals at Christ the King High School’s Father John Savage Memorial Gymnasium. When you dissect the final 22.4 fateful seconds, it was schoolboy basketball at its very peak and a Cinderella ending that was born out of the New York City but scrapped when Cam Thomas’ 15-foot baseline jumper clanged off the rim as time expired for Oak Hill.…
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February 12, 2021
2019 games

2019 Boys Semifinals Game 1 – IMG (Fla.) vs Montverde (Fla.)

By Christopher Lawlor NEW YORK – IMG Academy of Bradenton, Florida just entered uncharted waters: The nascent program is one win from a National Championship. It came out of nowhere Friday afternoon. Actually, it was a stunner considering the opponent and the circumstances. First, the scene and the situation. Defending champion Montverde (Fla.) Academy was cruising and led by 16 points at the start of the fourth quarter. It should not stun anyone but again the opponent was nationally ranked and now cross state rivals IMG. There is something to be said about a team that is steadfast when staring…
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February 12, 2021
2019 games

2019 girls semifinals Game 2 – Centennial (NV) (61) vs St. John’s (DC)

By Christopher Lawlor NEW YORK – When in doubt lean on Azzi Fudd. If you didn’t that would have been a shame because when the nation’s top schoolgirl is in your lineup that’s your go-to player with the game and more on the line. Fudd, the 5-11 All-American, was the given the chance to win it for St. John’s College (Washington, D.C.) Friday afternoon with the score tied at 61. Once Fudd took the inbounds pass, she was bumped with 8.3 seconds. Calmly, coolly she drilled both free throws but the Cadets weren’t off the hook. SJC needed all the…
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February 12, 2021
2019 games

2019 Girls Semifinals Game 1 – New Hope (MD) vs Miami Country Day (FL)

By Christopher Lawlor NEW YORK – Ask Sam Caldwell about the significance of buying into team defense. “We have players with skill sets at both ends of the floor; you have to buy into defense if you want to win championships. The girls and our coaches take a lot of pride in the defense. No one walks in practice and everyone is diving for lose balls. It’s a team mindset,” said Caldwell, the girls’ coach at New Hope Academy (Landover Hills, Md.) And with that the nation’s No. 1 team and top seed here lost for only the second time…
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February 12, 2021
2019 games

2019 Boys quarterfinals Game 4 – Wasatch (Utah) vs Oak Hill (Va.)

By Christopher Lawlor NEW YORK – It was a Homecoming for two players on Thursday. For those who follow the ultra-competitive New York High School Catholic Athletic Association (a.k.a. the New York City Catholic League), two players stood out: Cole Anthony and Kofi Cockburn. Just last year, both were tearing up the Class AA Brooklyn-Queen Division. Cockburn was back in his home gym and Anthony, who was the Most Valuable Player at the McDonald’s All-American Game last week in Atlanta, was the visiting menace from rival Archbishop Molloy (Briarwood). So much history and so much talent. Cole is the jet-like…
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February 12, 2021
2019 games

2019 Boys quarterfinals Game 3 – Bishop Gorman (Nev.) vs La Lumiere (Ind.)

By Christopher Lawlor NEW YORK – When the GEICO High School Nationals were seeding the tournament last month, it was forgone conclusion that La Lumiere (La Porte, Ind.) would nab the top seed and need to blow off the rust after a long layoff. After all the Lakers had not played since Feb. 20 and were perfect through 28 games. And eighth-seed Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas), the winners of eight straight Nevada state championships, were extended an invitation to the GEICO High School Nationals when a team from Georgia bowed out for an array of reasons. It was Gorman’s reprieve…
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February 12, 2021
2019 games

2019 BOYS QUARTERFINALS GAME 2 – NSU Univ. School vs Montverde (Fla.)

By Christopher Lawlor NEW YORK – Tournament basketball is dicey and there is fine line between winning and losing. Win or go home and losing does not allow you to call winners like on the playground. The postseason is cruel that way. Montverde (Fla.) Academy will live to play another day and did so with a fourth-quarer ambush that included a 17-0 spurt while holding seventh-seeded University School (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) pointless for over five minutes in a 65-57 victory Thursday afternoon in the quarterfinals of the GEICO High School Nationals quarterfinals at Christ the King High School’s Father John…
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February 12, 2021
2019 games

2019 BOYS QUARTERFINALS GAME 1 – IMG vs Sunrise Christian

By Christopher Lawlor NEW YORK – Two years ago IMG Academy of Bradenton, Florida came to the GEICO High School Nationals with an air of confidence as a tournament debutant. They came out flat and lost. Fast-forward to Thursday afternoon and the Ascenders were different team, featuring three McDonald’s All Americans and a coaching change. What a difference 723 days makes. Those super-sized trio of All Americans were an inside presence but the junior duo of Jaden Springer and Noah Farrakhan were more than a handful, combining to score 45 points, and third-seeded IMG buried sixth-seeded Sunrise Christian Academy (Bel…
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February 12, 2021