In the 7th Place Game at The Montverde Academy Invitational Tournament, The Villages Charter School took on Abington Senior out of Pennsylvania. The Buffalo faced a big challenge in Abington’s Eric Dixon, a 6’7 junior.
Abington got on the board first with a three in the corner from Robert Heath. Tre Mann came back with a driving layup for the Villages but another three from Heath gave Abington an early 6-2 lead. The Villages stayed even with Abington until midway thru the first period. After Mann threw down a dunk for The Villages to get within 10-8, Dixon knocked down a free throw and then scored inside on their next possession to make it a five point game. The Villages got back to within two at 16-14 after a bucket inside from Peyton Williams with a minute to go in the period. Abington responded with a putback bucket from Xavier Monroe and a three point play by Heath. Mann finished the scoring for the quarter with a basket at the rim to make it 21-16 in favor of Abington heading into the second period.
Heath of Abington drew first blood in the second which was quickly answered by two free throws from Mann. A bucket inside from Williams of The Villages brought them to within three at 23-20 and things were looking up for The Villages. Dixon and Abington had other thoughts as he scored two straight baskets to push the score to 27-20. Byron Smith of The Villages hit a three to get back within four but A 7-0 run by Abington, five of those from Dixon. Now with three minutes left in the half, Abington held a double-digit lead at 34-23. The Villages would close out the period with a 5-2 run, highlighted by a three from Mann just before the halftime horn to make the score 36-28 in favor of Abington.
Smith opened the third quarter with a driving basket for The Villages. That was the start of an 8-0 run as Mann scored in transition, hit two free throws after being fouled on a baseline drive and Dalton Berry connected on a pair of foul shots to tie the score at 36 with six minutes to go in the third. Abington responded with an 8-2 run of their own, all but two of those points coming from Dixon, three of them from beyond the arc to make the score 44-38. Abington would continue to hold off The Villages and led by six, 48-42, with 2:35 to go in the quarter. Mann and Berry each connected on a pair of free throws to draw back to within two at 48-46. Darious Brown of Abington hit a pair of free throws of his own at the one minute mark but a transition basket and a free throw by Smith make the score 50-49 in favor of Abington heading into the fourth quarter.
Abington pushed their lead to three to start the final period by a Mann three tied the score at 52. A pair of free throw from Monroe and a three from Brown pushed Abington’s lead to five, but a three from Mann, a driving layup by Smith and a pair of technical foul shots by Mann gave The Villages their first lead at 59-57. Abington hit a free throw and Mann responded with a long two to give The Villages a 61-58 lead with 5:14 to play. However, that would be their last lead of the game. A three and a free throw from Monroe gave Abington a lead it would not lose. The Villages would get as close as 67-66 after a three from Smith but Abington took advantage of being in the bonus to hold The Villages at bay. With one minute to play the score was 75-72 but Abington closed out the game with a 6-0 run at the foul line as The Villages missed hurried shots trying to catch up. Abington would head back to the Keystone State with an 81-76 win.
Dixon led the way for Abington with 30 points while Heath added 24 points. Mann of The Villages led all scorers with 37 points.