GEICO Nationals: Breaking down the Lone Peak vs. Montverde Academy matchup

Photo: Gregory Payan, AP

GEICO Nationals: Breaking down the Lone Peak vs. Montverde Academy matchup

Geico High School Nationals

GEICO Nationals: Breaking down the Lone Peak vs. Montverde Academy matchup

The teams: No. 1 Montverde Academy (Fla.) vs. No. 23 Lone Peak (Highland, Utah)

When: 6 p.m., Thursday, at Christ the King High in Middle Village, N.Y.

TV: ESPNU

POLL: Who will win the GEICO High School Nationals?

How Montverde can win: The Eagles are unbeaten for a reason. While Duke signee R.J. Barrett, a McDonald’s All-American small forward, gets much of the attention, Montverde is as deep a team as there is in the tournament. Guard Andrew Nembhard is headed to Florida and point guard Mike DeVoe is headed to Georgia Tech. They also have a significant height advantage. Lone Peak’s tallest starter, center Jackson Brinkerhoff, is 6-7. Barrett is still the focus of the Eagles’ attack, but plenty of teams have tried to slow him down and failed. Montverde has won three High School Nationals titles and is looking to be the first team to win four.

How Lone Peak can win: The Knights are accustomed to playing up-tempo and while they have three losses, all of them have been close ones to out-of-state elite teams: Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.), DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.) and Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas). Lone Peak will need to hit three-pointers early and often to make the Eagles uncomfortable.

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GEICO Nationals: Breaking down the Lone Peak vs. Montverde Academy matchup
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