Who: No. 2 Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.) vs. No. 14 Providence Day (Charlotte)
When: 4 p.m. ET, Thursday
Where: Christ The King, Middle Village, N.Y.
About Montverde: The Eagles (25-1) have won the past three Dick’s Sporting Goods High School Nationals, though all of those were with Ben Simmons, who was an All-American as a freshman this past season at LSU. Montverde also was a runner-up in 2010 and 2012. Montverde’s sole loss this season was to the No. 1 team, Chino Hills, Calif., and that was in December. Montverde is notable for its balance as it has plenty of depth, particularly in the frontcourt with three quality players 6-9 or taller in sophomores Simi Shittu and Silvio De Sousa, and Ohio State signee Micah Potter. The Eagles have beaten current Super 25 teams Wasatch Academy (Mount Pleasant, Utah), DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.), St. John’s (Washington, D.C.) and Roman Catholic (Philadelphia). They have also defeated several others that spent time in the Super 25: Wheeler (Marietta, Ga.); Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.); and Huntington Prep (Huntington, W.Va.).
About Providence Day: The Chargers (30-3) are playing in their first Dick’s Sporting Goods High School Nationals. They won the state 3A title using a lineup where all five starters averaged in double-figures. Senior forward Grant Williams is a Tennessee signee. Senior forward Josh Howard is the son of former NBA player Juwan Howard and a Brown commit. Senior forward Isaac Johnson is uncommitted but the team’s tallest player at 6-9. The other two starters are sophomore guards Devon Dotson and Trey Wertz. The Chargers opened the season with a loss to Oak Hill (Mouth of Wilson, Va.), but defeated several teams that spent time in the Super 25: Wesleyan Christian (High Point, N.C.); High Point Christian (High Point, N.C.); and Wheeler (Marietta, Ga.).
What to expect: Montverde will look to use its superior depth to create mismatches underneath. Providence Day will likely play small ball and hope that the Eagles’ long layoff (they last played Feb. 14) will work against them.