FORT MYERS — Scottie Barnes was named MVP for the second time in three years as Montverde Academy defeated IMG Academy, 63-55, Monday in an all-Florida championship game of the 47th annual City of Palms Classic.
Barnes, a 6-foot-8 senior who has signed to play for coach Leonard Hamilton at Florida State, scored 15 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and dished out 5 assists in front of a packed house at Suncoast Credit Union Arena.
He also won MVP honors at the City of Palms as a sophomore, teaming with Duke freshman Vernon Carey Jr. to win it all for Davie University School.
Montverde (10-0) is ranked No. 1 in the nation by USA Today and BallIsLife. The Eagles play next in the John Wall Invitational in North Carolina.
Barnes made 6 of 16 field-goal attempts and all three of his free throws. 6-10 senior Day’Ron Sharpe (7 of 11 from the field) also scored 15 points for Montverde and sophomore Dariq Whitehead had 12.
Tennessee guard signee Jaden Springer led IMG (7-2) with 16 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists. Duke center recruit Mark Williams and unsigned junior Moussa Diabate each had 10 points.
IMG led early on 5-0 and 9-2 but failed to take advantage of Montverde’s Cade Cunningham‘s foul troubles. Cunningham picked up two early fouls and had to sit.
However, IMG missed five free throws in the first quarter. And it did not get better the rest of the way. IMG finished 8 for 20 from the free-throw line in an 8-point verdict.
The talented programs will do battle again in mid-January at the Hoophall Classic.
Scottie Barnes, Montverde (MVP); Paolo Banchero, Seattle O’Dea; Kendall Brown, Sunrise (Kan.); Cade Cunningham, Montverde; Jalen Duran, Roman Catholic (Pa.); Corey Perkins, Sanford (Del.); Day’Ron Sharpe, Montverde; Jaden Springer, IMG; Kennedy Chandler, Briarcrest (Tenn.); Kobe Clark, Vashon (Mo.); Sharife Cooper, McEachern (Ga.); R.J. Davis, Stepinac (N.Y.); Adrian Griffin Jr., Stepinac (N.Y.); Tai’Reon Joseph, Scotlandville (La.); Samson Ruzhentsev, Hamilton Heights (Tenn.); Terrance Williams, Gonzaga (D.C.).
If you have high school or travel basketball news, you can reach Pat Lammer at PatALammer@Gmail.com