All-Midwest finals set for Gulfshore Holiday Hoopfest

Chris Tilley/Special to USA TODAY NETWORK-FLORIDA

All-Midwest finals set for Gulfshore Holiday Hoopfest

Boys Basketball

All-Midwest finals set for Gulfshore Holiday Hoopfest

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Community School couldn’t quite dig out of the early hole it fell into against a hot-shooting Loyola Academy team in the Kelleher Firm Gulfshore Holiday Hoopfest. As a result, the tournament finals will be a Midwest showdown.

The boys basketball team from Loyola, located in the Chicago suburb of Wilmette, drilled five 3-pointers in the first quarter in Saturday’s semifinals. The Ramblers opened up a 12-point lead at halftime and Community School, the only one of six local teams to make it to the Hoopfest semifinals, couldn’t recover.

In the early semifinal Saturday, the tournament’s other out-of-state program also opened up a big lead but had to fend off a feisty opponent to get to the finals. Park Hills (Ky.)-Covington Catholic beat Deerfield Beach 53-36 to advance.

The Hoopfest championship, which tips off at 1:45 p.m. Sunday, pits two teams that have never lost in Naples. Loyola has won the tournament title the past two seasons, it’s only appearances. Covington Catholic, from just across the Ohio River from Cincinnati, is making its first trip to Southwest Florida.

More: Hoopfest roundup: Urbancic sets FBA mark; Golden Gate, Naples win

More: Stoneman Douglas in Hoopfest with big hearts after school shooting

More: Chicago’s Loyola Academy goes for third straight title in Naples

Community School (10-2) got within four points in the fourth quarter, but couldn’t make shots in the final minutes.

“The first half both teams had 10 points in the paint. They just hit a few more 3s than us,” Seahawks coach Greg Donahue said. “That’s a fun team to play. We’re not going to play a team that’s as locked in physically and mentally in everything they do. We just didn’t make the shots they did.”

Jay Beshears hit a 3-pointer with 4:29 to play to pull Community School within 39-35. In the next four minutes, the Seahawks had the ball three times trailing by four points but couldn’t score.

Community School got back into the game by tightening up its defense. Loyola’s Matthew Enghauser and Connor Barrett scored 15 points in the first half on five 3-pointers, but the Seahawks held them to two points in the second half on Enghauser’s two free throws.

“The second half we did a good job of switching up,” Donahue said. “We went with a triangle-and-two defense on (Enghauser and Barrett) and limited them. We just couldn’t get over the hump.”

Jacob Siegel scored 11 points for the Seahawks, while Parker Weiss added 10. Enghauser with 11 points was the only Ramblers player in double figures.

Community School is scheduled to play Deerfield Beach, which lost to Covington Catholic, at noon Sunday in the third-place game. However, Donahue said he’d like to not play since his starters are exhausted after three games in three days.

All five Seahawks starters played all 32 minutes in Saturday’s game, which ended at 10:30 p.m.

Covington Catholic, which won Kentucky’s single-class state championship last season, appeared to be headed for an easy night in the early going. The Colonels led by as many as 20 points in the second quarter and were up 18 at halftime.

Then Deerfield Beach, a Class 9A regional finalist last season, locked in defensively. The Bucks outscored Covington Catholic 14-3 in the third quarter. The Colonels didn’t score their first points of the period until there was 2:15 left.

“We were finishing around the rim real well and moving the ball well in the first half,” Covington Catholic junior guard Grant Disken said. “In the third quarter, we didn’t move the ball. We had to not speed up and relax.”

With 6:30 to play, Deerfield Beach was within four points, trailing 35-31. However, the Bucks went five minutes without scoring. Meanwhile, Covington Catholic was in the bonus the whole quarter and made its free throws down the stretch.

The Colonels made 10 of 13 free throws in the fourth quarter. Disken made 8 of 10 foul shots in the final period and finished with a game-high 19 points.

Michael Johnson scored 11 points to lead Deerfield Beach. Senior Victor Robinson, who is committed to Division I Albany State, was held to five points and did not score in the second half.

Kelleher Firm Gulfshore Holiday Hoopfest

At Golden Gate High School

Thursday

Game 1 – Wilmette (Ill.)-Loyola 39, First Baptist Academy 24

Game 2 – Naples 60, Hallandale 58

Game 3 – Fort Lauderdale-St. Thomas Aquinas 58, Lehigh 54

Game 4 – Community School 66, Largo 40

Game 5 – Sanford-Seminole 72, Seacrest 48

Game 6 – Deerfield Beach 53, Ocala-Trinity Catholic 42

Game 7 – Parkland-Stoneman Douglas 65, Golden Gate 38

Game 8 – Park Hills (Ky.)-Covington Catholic 74, Lakeland-Kathleen 70

Friday

Consolation – Largo 50, Seacrest 49

Consolation –Trinity Catholic 68, Kathleen 53

Consolation – Lehigh 69, Hallandale 61

Consolation – First Baptist 84, Golden Gate 71

Quarterfinal 1 – Loyola 55, Naples 19

Quarterfinal 2 – Community School 77, St. Thomas Aquinas 71

Quarterfinal 3 – Covington Catholic 66, Stoneman Douglas 36

Quarterfinal 4 – Deerfield Beach 58, Seminole 38

Saturday

Consolation – Golden Gate 63, Seacrest 57 (OT)

Consolation – Naples 75, Seminole 63

Consolation – Lehigh 96, Kathleen 55

Consolation – Largo 39, Hallandale 38

Consolation – First Baptist 52, Stoneman Douglas 43

Consolation – Trinity Catholic 83, Aquinas 59

Semifinals – Covington Catholic 53, Deerfield Beach 36

Semifinals – Loyola 46, Community School 39

Sunday

Third-place game — Community School vs. Deerfield Beach, Noon

Championship — Covington Catholic vs. Loyola, 1:45 p.m.

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All-Midwest finals set for Gulfshore Holiday Hoopfest
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