The first consolation semi-final on Day Two of the Montverde Academy Invitational Tournament matches a pair of South Florida powers that have become quite familiar with each other this season. The teams have played twice already this season with the Bulldogs of Riviera Prep winning both: 71-69 back in early December and then 69-64 in overtime in a holiday tournament later that month. Calvary Christian played Brewster Academy very tough for three-quarters in the previous day’s opening round contest while Riviera Prep took nationally renowned Prolific Prep into overtime before falling into the consolation bracket.
Calvary opened the game up with a three from 6’1 sophomore Gabe Moore. Riviera Prep responded with eight straight points as 6’4 junior Dante Allen stroked a three, 7’0 junior Gustavo Guimaraes hit one of two free throws, 6’7 freshman Jeremy Jenkins scored inside and 6’0 sophomore Mason Fuentes had a steal and score to give the Bulldogs an 8- with 5:49 to play. John Roland, a 6’7 senior, got the Eagles back on the board with a pair of free throws. Both teams hit two-point baskets and after Jenkins hit two free throws for Riviera, the Bulldogs led 12-7 with 3:44 to go in the period. Calvary then got on a roll of their own as K.J. Francis, a 6’4 sophomore had a steal and score, 5’11 freshman Cayden Daughtry downed a pair of free throws and Shon Abaev, a 6’7 junior, connected on a three to give Calvary back the lead at 14-12 with just under thirty seconds to play. Riviera worked the ball around and found 6’10 junior Garang Dhieu under the bucket for an easy score just before the horn to tie the game at 14-14.
Calvary got rolling early in the second quarter. The ripped off a 14-0 run as 6’0 senior Stone Bureau hit three free throws, then a three, and later a two-point basket, Daughtry hit three free throws and Abaev knocked down a three. All of a sudden with 4:43 left in the half, Calvary was up big, 28-14. Jenkins finally got Riviera Prep on the scoreboard with two free throws, but Daughtry responded with another three for Calvary. The teams once again traded two-point baskets, and then Allen connected on a three for Riviera to get the margin to twelve. Each team ended the quarter with a pair of free throws, and at the break, Calvary was up by a dozen, 35-23.
Each team scored a bucket early in the third, then Riviera Prep whittled the lead down to eight, 37-29, after a dunk inside from Guimaraes and a free throw apiece from Allen and Mason Fuentes. The teams again traded two-point baskets and then Calvary went on a 7-0 run as they knocked down a three, 6’7 sophomore Sam Hallas scored inside and Daughtry connected on the break to make the score 46-31 in favor of Calvary with just over three minutes left in the period. That fifteen-point margin held until Allen hit a three and Guimaraes scored inside to get the score to 50-40 with thirty five seconds left in the period. Hallas of Calvary scored the last points of the quarter, so after all of that the margin was still a dozen at 52-40.
Riviera Prep got the deficit down to ten with two quick drives from 6’0 freshman Myles Fuentes sandwiched between a Calvary basket. Calvary answered with five quick points, a three from Moore and a transition basket by Bureau to go up fifteen, 59-44, with 5:19 to play. With a shot clock in play and a team the caliber of Riviera Prep, the game was far from over. The Bulldogs ripped off thirteen consecutive points, starting with a Guimaraes bucket inside, highlighted by back-to-back threes from Jenkins and Allen, and ending with a driving score from Allen. All of a sudden, with under two minutes to play, it’s a two-point game, 59-57. The teams traded baskets and after Moore hit a three to put Calvary up five, 64-59, Riviera looked done. Not so fast, my friend. Allen hit a three with twenty-two seconds left and after a Calvary turnover, Guimaraes scored inside to tie the game at 64-64 with eleven seconds left. Rather than call a timeout, Calvary pushed the ball down the floor. Abaev made a tough euro-step move to score with just under five seconds left. Riviera Prep’s half-court heave fell short and the Eagles of Calvary win by the score of 66-64.
Calvary was led by Daughtry with 17 points. Abaev added 16 points while Bureau finished with 12 points.
For Riviera Prep, Allen had 17 points, Jenkins tallied 15 points, and Myles Fuentes had 12 points.