The Eagles of Montverde Academy are the number one team in the country according to “experts”, but Whitney Young out of the Chicago Public League is a proud program and backs down to no one. If the Dolphins can hold up inside, they definitely have a chance to knock off Montverde.
Boom!! Montverde scored the first eleven points of the quarter, highlighted by back-to-back threes from Dariq Whitehead. D.J. Steward of Young finally got the Dolphins on the board with a deep three. Day’Ron Sharpe scored inside for Montverde but Jaeshon Thomas hit another three for Young to make the score 13-6 with 4:14 left in the quarter in favor of the Eagles. A 6-2 run for Montverde pushed their advantage to eight but a late floater from Thomas of Young made the score 19-10 after the first period.
Montverde continued to attack and scored the first five points of the second period to lead 24-10. Tyler Beard finally got Young on the board in the second quarter with a mid-range jumper. Whitehead of Montverde answered that with a personal five point run to push the score to 29-12 with just over four minutes to play in the half. Steward hit a floater for Young but a three from Caleb Houston and a free throw from Whitehead gave Montverde its largest lead, 33-14, with just under three minutes to play. Young would close the quarter strong, finishing with an 8-2 run to close to within 35-22 at the break.
Whitney Young got the margin down to eight, 35-27, early in the third after Beard hit a three and then scored on a drive. Cade Cunningham hit a three for Montverde to put them on the board in the third quarter. Grant Newell scored inside to keep Young within shouting distance. It was still a nine point game, 40-31, when Montverde ripped off six straight points on a pair of buckets from Sharpe and a score by Cunningham to push Montverde’s advantage to fifteen, 46-31, with just over three minutes to play. From there the teams would trade baskets and with one period left to play, Montverde was up 52-37.
Each team hit a three to start the final period, but the Eagles got scores from Scottie Barnes and Langston Love as well to go up by nineteen, 59-40 early in the fourth. From there, Montverde would rip off an 11-2 run to go up 70-45 to end any chance of Young mounting an amazing comeback. At that point the final score was all that need to be posted. Montverde advanced to the semis with an 82-56 win.
The Eagles put four players in double figures as Barnes and Sharpe each had 16 points, Cunningham tossed in 14 and Whitehead finished with 12 points.
Beard led Young with 16 points while Steward finished with 14 points, Sangolay Njie added 12 and Thomas finished with 11 points.