WESTON — Sophomore shooting guard Jett Howard poured in 26 points — including five 3-pointers — to lead University School past Stranahan, 66-55, Friday in a showdown of defending state champions at the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic at Cypress Bay High School.
University School has won the past two FHSAA Class 5A state titles and advanced to GEICO Nationals. Stranahan, meanwhile, is coming off a Class 6A state championship.
Howard (pictured), the son of University of Michigan head coach Juwan Howard, connected on 10 of 15 field goal attempts as the Sharks improved to 6-0 on the young season.
“I just feed off my teammates,” Howard said. “My coach put me in the right position to score. They like to press up, man to man, stuff like that. So when we drive and kick it out, it’s open 3s all day.
“We knew it was a big game coming in,” Howard added. “We knew they were one of the best teams in Broward [County] so we just had to play our best and fight hard.”
Sophomore big Taylor Hendricks added a double-double (16 points, 10 rebounds) for U-School while senior Roger McFarlane had 14 points and 8 rebounds. The Sharks played just seven players.
University School led 20-15 after one quarter and 38-31 at the half. The Sharks would grab a 47-35 advantage midway through the third quarter, but the Dragons fought back to 55-53 on a free throw from Chayse Culpepper with 4:03 remaining in the game.
U-School, however, would finish out the game with an 11-2 run.
High-flying senior Dave Herard had a tough shooting night but led Stranahan (4-3) with 11 points and Culpepper added 9. Center Inady Legiste was held to 4 points.
U-School senior forward Jace Howard sat out the game after needing stitches during a game Thursday night.
In other games at Cypress Bay, it was:
AMERICAN HERITAGE-PLANTATION 62, CORAL SPRINGS 50: Andrew Volmar, an FIU football commit, was clearly the difference in this one.
Volmar did not play the entire first half due to missing a couple of practices this week but came out on fire to score 18 second-half points for Heritage (3-1).
Springs played without a handful of players, including Jordan Smith and Greg Gordon.
ST. THOMAS AQUINAS 55, FLANAGAN 40: Junior guard Kyle Stathos led the Raiders with 17 points. STA played without Tristan Goldstein (dislocated shoulder). Sophomore guard Hasmar Francois led Flanagan with 13.
All proceeds from the tournament go to the Jorge Nation Foundation.
If you have high school or travel basketball news, you can reach Pat Lammer at PatALammer@Gmail.com