Thursday, March 31st
#8 La Lumiere (IN) over #7 St. Benedict’s Prep (NJ) 60-59
#2 Oak Hill Academy (VA) over #20 Wasatch Academy (UT) 81-64
#3 Montverde Academy (FL) over #11 Providence Day (FL) 70-54
#18 Miller Grove (GA) over #5 Findlay Prep (NV) 67-65
Friday, April 1st
3:00 PM #3 Montverde Academy (FL) vs #8 La Lumiere (IN) ESPN2
5:00 PM #2 Oak Hill Academy (VA) vs #18 Miller Grove (GA) ESPN2
The 2016 Dick’s Nationals tournament started off with a bang. The day began with a rematch between #5 seed La Lumiere (IN) and #4 seed St. Benedict’s Prep (NJ) in a game that La Lumiere (IN) won their first game in tournament history, while avenging an early season loss. The day ended with Alterique Gilbert and #3 seed Miller Grove (GA) taking down 3x tournament champion #3 seed Findlay Prep (NV) 67-65 in a grueling fight to the finish. The two games in between showed the top two seeds flexing their muscles as #1 seed Montverde Academy (FL) took down #8 seed Providence Day (NC) 70-54 and #2 seed Oak Hill Academy (VA) knocked off #7 seed Wasatch Academy (UT) 81-64. Day one is now in the books for the 8th annual Dick’s Nationals and much more fun and excitement is sure to come in the next two days of action.
The first game of the day was a back and forth rematch between two very talented national powerhouses. La Lumiere (IN) took down St. Benedict’s Prep (NJ) 60-59 behind a tough finish in the lane from their star 2017 SF Brian Bowen with 13 seconds remaining. Bowen finished with 23 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 steals shooting a solid 9-15 from the field. 2017 PF Jeremiah Tilmon also stepped up as he finished with 9 points and 10 rebounds battling hard on the glass and playing all 32 minutes. For the Gray Bees it was 2017 Bourama Sidibe who stepped up finishing with 13 points, 12 rebounds, 4 blocks, and going 6-10 from the field. 2016 Kennesaw State commit James Scott also had a big night for St. Benedict’s Prep (NJ) as he racked up 18 points to go with 4 rebounds and 4 assists. 2017 David Beatty really struggled from the field finishing just 1-12.
Oak Hill Academy (VA) looked very impressive in the second half against a well-coached Wasatch Academy (UT) and took down the first Utah participant in tournament history 81-64. Wasatch Academy (UT) started off the game strong with a 10-0 run and led 18-10 after the first quarter, however the Warriors bounced back in the second quarter as they outscored the Tigers 29-9 in the second quarter. Oak Hill Academy (VA) never looked back after they took a 38-27 lead at the half, using a balanced effort to knock down the fundamentally sound Tigers. Five players for Oak Hill Academy (VA) finished in double figures led by 2017 Lindell Wigginton who finished with 17 points, 6 assists, and 4 rebounds. Other double digit scorers were 2016 Alabama commit Braxton Key who had 12 points and 7 rebounds, 2016 Virginia Tech commit Khadim Sy who played a huge role in the win, finishing with 13 points and 10 rebounds, 2017 Creighton commit Ty-Shon Alexander who had 11 points, and 2017 Devontae Shuler who had 13. 2017 PF Josip Vranknic led the way for the Tigers as he led the way with 18 points and 6 rebounds. Battling foul trouble throughout, 2016 Utah State commit Koby McEwan finished with 12 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists and 2016 PF Jackson Rowe had 13 points and 7 rebounds on a number of strong finishes above the rim.
Montverde Academy (FL) looked like they prepared and ready to capture their fourth consecutive Dick’s Nationals title as they took down Providence Day (NC) handily 70-54. The Eagles were led by super-freshman RJ Barrett who finished with 20 points and 7 rebounds on 7-12 shooting from the field. 2018 PF Silvio De Sousa had a number of monstrous dunks finishing with 10 points in 11 minutes. Fellow frontcourt sophomore Simi Shittu also had a solid outing finishing with 8 points and 5 rebounds. For the Chargers, 2016 Tennessee commit Grant Williams had 12 points and 8 rebounds while fighting foul trouble and 2018 Devon Dotson finished with 11 points and 5 assists on a pour 4-17 from the field. Montverde Academy (FL) made it look easy against a very good Providence Day (FL) who came into the tournament as the #11 ranked team nationally. This youthful group of talented individuals is gelling at the right time and looks to be the favorite after the first day of basketball in New York.
In the big upset of the first day of play, Miller Grove (GA) took down Findlay Prep (NV) 67-65 on a last second floater from 2016 Aaron Augustin who finished with just 4 points on the night. The Pilots stars Skylar Mays, Markus Howard, and PJ Washington faced off against a scrappy team, who was well coached and shared the ball well on the offensive end. Findlay Prep (NV) came into the event playing a very weak national schedule and battle-tested Miller Grove (GA) took advantage gritting out the tough two point win. 2016 McDonald’s All American Alterique Gilbert showed up big in the monumental win for a Miller Grove (GA) program that has won 7 of the last 8 Georgia state finals. Gilbert finished with 20 points and 4 assists in the win, coming up with two big threes in the fourth to give Miller Grove (GA) the momentum. Miller Grove had big nights from senior’s Raylon Richardson who finished with 12 points and 5 rebounds and Colin Young who finished with 10 points on the night. Findlay Prep (NV) was led by 2016 LSU commit Skylar Mays who finished with 21 points and 5 rebounds on 9-13 shooting and a number of smooth finishes around the basket. 2017 PJ Washington finished with 15 points, 13 rebounds, and 3 blocks against a smaller Wolverines front line and 2017 Markus Howard knocked down three 3’s and had 13 points.
Overall, the first day of action was filled with excitement and passion. La Lumiere (IN) captured their first ever win in the event in their fourth try and Miller Grove (GA) took down national powerhouse Findlay Prep (NV) in one of the biggest upsets in tournament history. Favorites Montverde Academy (FL) and Oak Hill Academy (VA) showed up ready to compete for the title in their first round matchups and the gym was electric as the games were action packed and the highlights were plentiful in the Big Apple. Tomorrow La Lumiere (IN) will take on Montverde Academy (FL) and Oak Hill Academy (VA) will face Miller Grove (GA) with an opportunity to play under the bright lights at Madison Square Garden on Saturday. Catch the games on ESPN2 tomorrow and ESPN on Saturday if you want to see some of the best high school teams in the nation compete on the big stage.