Montverde (Fla.) Academy earned the No. 1 spot in the final Super 25 boys basketball rankings of the season with a come-from-behind defeat of then-No. 1 Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) in the championship of the DICK’S Sporting Goods High School Nationals on Saturday. Ben Simmons and Fard Muhammad each had 20 points in the 70-61 win.
Montverde also beat two other Super 25 teams in the tournament: Simmons had 24 points and 13 rebounds in a 57-53 defeat of then-No. 8 Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) in a semifinal and Noah Dickerson had 20 points in a 50-34 defeat of then-No. 16 Greensboro Day (Greensboro, N.C.) in a quarterfinal.
It’s the second consecutive year the Eagles have finished as the top team in the Super 25 and the third consecutive year they have won the DICK’S event.
“We had 62 wins and one loss during Ben’s time here,” Montverde coach Kevin Boyle said.
“It was just everyone chipping in and working hard and doing what we need to do to pull this off,” Simmons said.
Oak Hill, despite going 47-1, ends the season at No. 2. The Warriors had two wins against Super 25 teams to reach the DICK’S final: Dwayne Bacon had 17 points in a 61-51 defeat of then- No. 6 Huntington Prep (Huntington, W.Va.) in a semifinal; and Bacon also had 21 points in a 72-63 defeat of then-No. 15 Wings Academy (Bronx, N.Y.) in a quarterfinal.
“It’s disappointing obviously,” Oak Hill coach Steve Smith said. “I want to win every game I coach in. It’s not realistic, but that’s not your goal. I really thought this team had a chance to close it out as an unbeaten team.”
Callaway (Jackson, Miss.), didn’t play in the DICK’S and stayed in the No. 3 spot.
Findlay College Prep (Henderson, Nev.) went 1-1 in the tournament and improved from No. 8 to No. 4. The Pilots defeated then-No. 4 Blanche Ely (Pompano Beach, Fla.) in a DICK’S quarterfinal, dropping Ely to No. 8. Findlay Prep then narrowly lost 57-53 to Montverde Academy in a DICK’S semifinal.
Huntington Prep (Huntington, W.Va.) improved a spot to No. 5 with a 73-70 defeat of then-No. 5 Wheeler (Marietta, Ga.) in a DICK’S quarterfinal. The Fighting Irish lost 61-51 to Oak Hill in a DICK’S semifinal.
Wheeler moved down a spot to No. 6 with the quarterfinal loss. The Wildcats would possibly have fallen farther, but they were the only team to defeat Montverde Academy this season.