27 Jan 2018

2018 Montverde Invitational: Westminster Academy vs. Miami Christian

This is a rematch from the Kreul Classic back in mid-December which Westminster won by ten at 75-65.  It will be interesting to see if six weeks makes a difference in the outcome.

A pair of free throws by Miami Christian’s Marcelo Perez opened the scoring but a dunk by Dudley Blackwell and a three from Sam Griffin gave Westminster an early 5-2 lead.  Neftali Alvarez tied the score at five with a three for Miami Christian.  Chase Johnston scored for Westminster but a three from Alvarez and a transition basket from Jeffrey Hernandez gave Miami Christian a 10-7 lead with just over five minutes to play in the period.  Westminster scored the next two baskets to take the lead but a mid-range jumper from Perez made it 12-11 in favor of the Victors.  Westminster then put together a run as Johnson hit a pair of threes wrapped around a transition basket and Zack Scott hit a floater in the lane.  With just under one minute to go in the first, Westminster now lead 21-12.  Perez of Miami Christian would score the last four points of the quarter to bring the Victors back to within five at 21-16 heading into the second period.

Westminster pushed their lead to nine by scoring the first two baskets of the quarter.  After Miami Christian putback a miss to get on the board, a three from Johnston gave Westminster a 28-18 lead.  Miami Christian would get the margin down to seven at 30-23 after two free throws from Aaron Gedeon but Westminster was hot from deep and it seemed for every two pointer Miami Christian would make, Westminster would knock down a three.  With under two minutes to go in the half, Perez scored at the rim to make it 44-37 in favor of Westminster.  Scott scored a pair of baskets inside to push the margin back to double digits and after J.J. Flores hit a free throw for Miami Christian, Johnston put back a miss for Westminster to give them a 50-38 lead at the break.

The teams traded buckets for a bit in the third and after Anthony Atkinson scored inside, Westminster led by thirteen at 56-43.  Miami Christian then went on a 6-0 run as Gedeon scored inside and Alvarez hit a free throw and later knocked down a three to make the score 56-49.  Blackwell scored in transition for Westminster but a score by Hernandez and a three from Alvarez make it a 58-54 game with just under five minutes to play in the third period.  After a Scott free throw, Alvarez scored on a drive and Hernandez scored on the break to get within one.  Scott scored again for Westminster but a three from Perez of Miami Christian tied the game at 61.  After a basket by each team, Westminster got some breathing room with a five point run thanks to a pair of free throws from Blackwell, one of two technical free throws by Johnston and a put back by Scott to make it 68-63 with just over one minute to play.  Miami Christian wasn’t done.  Alvarez hit two free throws and Hernandez scored in transition to make the score 68-67 in favor of Westminster heading into the final period.

Westminster scored the first five points of the final period as Atkinson scored inside and Scott converted a three point play.  The teams would battle back and forth and after two free throws from Gedeon of Miami Christian it was still a tight game at 80-76 with just over five minutes to play.  However, a pair of threes from Sam Griffin gave Westminster an 86-76 lead that all but sealed the contest.  Miami Christian would continue to attack but now needed to up the defensive pressure and/or foul to get the ball back.  Westminster took advantage, scoring in transition or making their foul shots.  They would increase their lead and ultimately break the century mark.  The final score would by 105-94 in favor of Westminster Academy.

Zack Scott led Westminster with 29 points while both Sam Griffin and Chase Johnston each had 22 points and Dudley Blackwell finished with 20.

Miami Christian’s Neftali Alvarez had a game high 40 points while Marcelo Perez finished with 26.