Photo Courtesy @bberrypictures
We ventured to the edge of downtown Orlando to check out a rivalry game between two of the more prestigious private schools in Central Florida. Lake Highland Prep and Windermere Prep share several similarities this hoops season. Both are considered among the favorites in their respective classifications, 3A for Windermere Prep and 4A for Lake Highland Prep. Each is missing its best player. Fanbo Zeng is unable to return from China due to COVID for Windermere while Lake Highland’s Brice Sensabaugh is sidelined for the time being by a meniscus issue. The Lakers and Highlanders are powered by solid guard play and have size in the middle. Windermere Prep also has a transfer from Lake Highland Prep on the Lakers roster but 6’7 senior Gabe Ferguson missed the contest with a knee issue of his own.
The homestanding Highlanders got out to a 5-0 lead quickly, thanks to a driving score from 5’10 junior Jared Berry and a three from 6’0 senior Miles Horowitz. Windermere turned the ball over on its first two possessions and that was enough for the Lakers to take a timeout just over one minute into the game. It worked as Windermere got back-to-back threes from 6’3 junior guard Jayden Williams to take a lead. From there the teams would exchange baskets and the lead for the remainder of the first period. After eight minutes of play, nothing had been decided as the score was tied at 14-14.
Lake Highland grabbed an early lead in the second quarter, but each time Windermere responded. With 3:30 left in the period, the Highlanders held a 25-24 lead. The second quarter became almost a personal dual between Berry of Lake Highland and Williams of Windermere; sort of a “whatever you can do I can do better” challenge. Berry used his speed and quickness to get to the basket and score, tallying 10 points in the period. Meanwhile, Williams racked up 11 points of his own in the quarter. Still, at the break the score was tied at 31-31.
It became clear at the beginning of the third quarter that the Windermere Prep coaches had re-introduced 6’10 senior center Elijah Hulsewe to the rest of the team during the half-time break. He hadn’t gotten many opportunities in the first half due to foul trouble. In the third, the Lakers went to Hulsewe repeatedly. He scored a pair of buckets inside and assisted on a Drew Kousie three pointer in a 7-0 run to start the period for Windermere. With just over two minutes played, Lake Highland was down 38-33 and took a time out. The break didn’t stop Windermere’s momentum and their lead reached double-digits, 45-35, with three minutes left in the quarter. That ten point margin still stood at end of the third with the score 51-41.
The visiting Lakers led by as many as fourteen in the final period. It was too much of a deficit to overcome for Lake Highland. Windermere Prep would win this round by the score of 63-53.
Jayden Williams led the Lakers with 21 points while his brother, 6’0 senior and Rhodes College signee Zavien Williams, added 19 points (the third Williams brother, 6’3 sophomore Mason, didn’t score but was solid on the defensive end of the floor). Both Hulsewe and Kousie each contributed ten points to the cause.
Berry of Lake Highland Prep was the game’s high-scorer with 25 points. Elijah Quinones, a 6’0 junior, also finished in double-figures with 10 points.