Don’t look now, but No. 2 Montverde (Fla.) Academy just won its third straight national title.
We used Score Predictor, USA TODAY High School Sports’ tool that looks at scores and other statistical data to compare teams, to see what would happen if the Eagles faced off with No. 1 Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.).
A 71-67 Montverde win.
At this point, assuming that both win out, the top two teams in the USA Today HSS Super 25 would only meet in the DICK’S Sporting Goods High School Nationals title game; a rematch of last April’s national title game that Montverde won,71-62.
Here’s our take on the most likely scenario of what happened in this week’s simulated Score Predictor game: Simmons, an LSU signee, was his same dominant self, scoring 38 points, grabbing 14 rebounds and dishing out five assists to help the Eagles hand the Warriors their first loss of the season.
While Oak Hill’s defenders were powerless to slow Simmons, the Eagles were equally ineffective at stopping Dwayne Bacon, a Florida State signee who scored 39 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in the loss.
Bacon went 5 of 9 from the three-point line but missed a three-ball from the left wing that would’ve extended the Warriors lead late in the fourth quarter. Josh Reaves, a Penn State signee, added 15 points in the loss.
The Eagles got a big boost from versatile freshman forward E.J. Montgomery, who pumped in 16 points and nine rebounds in the win.
Noah Dickerson, a forward who is signed to Florida, was a workhorse for the Eagles with seven offensive rebounds, including the rebound that set up Montverde’s go-ahead three with just more than two minutes remaining.
It was Montverde’s first lead of the second half.
Terrence Phillips, a Missouri commit who dished out 11 assists in the loss, helped the Warriors regain a two-point lead on his tear-drop floater with 45 seconds left, but Simmons closed the game on a 6-0 scoring run of his own to secure the win and claim his second-straight tournament MVP trophy.
Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY