COCONUT CREEK — Grandview Prep took top billing Thursday on Day 1 of the The Rock Holiday Classic at North Broward Prep.
Head coach Joe Dawson and the Pride were impressive in knocking off perennial-power Wellington, 91-71, in the quarterfinals of the three-day tournament.
The young Pride jumped on Wellington early, building a 23-12 first-quarter lead. Grandview Prep was up 44-31 at the half and 71-50 going to the fourth period.
“Tonight we expected a slower, grind-it-out game in the 40s or 50s,” Dawson said. “But it was one of those games … we made shots. All of our guys made plays.”
Grandview Prep had three players score in the 20s: guard Micah Octave led the way with 23 points, guard Harry Santiago had 22 and big Pedro Brown added 20 points.
The Pride are young, athletic and have size. Octave, Santiago, Brown and Makye Boles are all juniors and Nate Sasser is a freshman. Just Jalin Thomason is a senior.
Santiago is the point guard. He, Octave and Sasser are all excellent drivers. Brown and Boles played well on the block.
“When we are able to stop teams defensively and rebound, we’re able to get it out and go,” said Dawson. “We have really good guards that make great decisions and they are really quick. We were able to get a lot of easy baskets. That was a big key for us early to get on the lead and play on the lead.”
Dawson said college coaches are starting to come around. He said he did not want to mention names for the time being. The Pride are 10-1 with the lone loss coming vs. Miami Norland at the Kreul Classic.
Wellington is 9-3. Its losses are: Sagemont, Westminster Academy and Grandview.
Freshman guard Marvel Allen led the Wolverines with 19 points. Dayton is among the schools already interested in the ninth-grader. Senior De’ante Perez added 17.
Grandview Prep will play Pine Crest at 5 p.m. Friday in the Gold bracket semifinals.
AUSAR THOMPSON TAKES OVER
Sophomore Ausar Thompson absolutely took over late in Pine Crest’s come-from-behind 60-59 victory over Sagemont.
The 6-foot-5 guard, with offers from Alabama, FAU, Iowa State and USF and interest from Memphis, scored 11 of his 20 points late in the fourth quarter.
Thompson hit a 3-pointer, drove and and was fouled for an old-fashioned three-point play, and hit another 3, before scoring the game-winning bucket with 23 seconds to play.
Sagemont — down just 1 — still had the ball for what could have been the last shot. But Ausar Thompson knocked the ball away from Sergey Grishaev and Pine Crest (6-3) ran out the clock.
Twin Amen Thompson finished with 8 points and junior Leo Ghiloni had 16 points.
Sagemont had used a zone to control the Thompsons and go up 17-12 after one; 32-19 at the half; and 42-38 going to the fourth.
2021 guard Raphael Houssou led Sagemont with 17 points and Kadir Arca had 12.
NBP TOO STRONG FOR OLYMPIC HEIGHTS
North Broward Prep used balance to whip Olympic Heights, 72-47.
Sophomore shooting guard Max Fuentes led the way with 20 points. Florida Southern College point guard recruit Dom Denny added 14 and sophomore big Justin Abson and junior forward MK Ashmore each had 13 points.
Abson has a Stetson offer and is getting looks from FGCU, Murray State and Texas-San Antonio among others. Ashmore has high interest from Wofford, Princeton and Miami of Ohio and is getting looks from Boston, Hofstra and James Madison.
NBP will play First Academy — 60-46 winners over Hialeah American — at 6:30 Friday in the Gold bracket semis.
INTERESTING 8TH-GRADE PROSPECT
Lake Mary Prep eighth-grader Jayden Williams is an interesting prospect. Williams, who has nice size, helped LMP roll over Miami Country Day.
First-year coach Alex Marshall said of Williams: “Jayden [No.] 11, he just got ranked top 10 for eighth grade. This is a kid that’s really learning some things right now. We’re trying to teach him the fundamentals of the game and to understand the game.”
2021 G Jordan Cooke had 23 for Country Day.
… JuCos St. Pete and ASA are watching Hialeah American G Caron Wade. First Academy shooting guard Kam Summers is going to Navy.
SCORES FROM THE ROCK SILVER BRACKET
Lake Mary Prep 77, Miami Country Day 59
St. John Paul 63, Loyola (N.Y.) 49
Riverdale (N.Y.) 67, Orlando Orangewood Christian 58
Madison Southern (Ky.) 64, Leman Manhattan (N.Y.) 47
If you have high school or travel basketball news, you can reach Pat Lammer at PatALammer@Gmail.com