No. 19 Mountain Brook (Ala.) 72, No. 2 IMG Academy (Fla.) 67
Mountain Brook, a public high school from Birmingham, Alabama, pulled off the stunner of the City of Palms Classic so far in Thursday’s quarterfinals.
Thanks to 26 second half points from senior Trendon Watford, Mount Brook knocked off IMG Academy 72-67 to advance to the semifinals. IMG, a sports academy in Bradenton with three Division I commits, came into the quarterfinals 11-0 and ranked No. 2 in the nation by USA Today Super 25 and MaxPreps.
As they showed, the Spartans have some talent, too. Mountain Brook, which won a state title last year, improved to 13-1 on the season. The Spartans will play Powder Springs (Ga.)-McEachern at 9 p.m. Friday for a spot in Saturday’s City of Palms championship.
Watford, uncommitted but ranked No. 16 in the Class of 2019 by Rivals, poured in 38 points and 12 rebounds after scoring 31 in the first round. The 6-foot-9 forward made 19 of 23 free throws.
The Spartans led from the start and went up 12 points in the first quarter. IMG tied the game at halftime and took its first lead early in the third quarter.
With the game tied 62-62 with 1:30 left, Paulie Stramaglia hit a driving layup to give Mountain Brook the lead for good.
Villanova recruit Jeremiah Earl-Robinson led IMG with 18 points. Jaden Springer, the No. 10 junior in the country according to ESPN, added 14 points. Armando Bacot, Jr., a 6-10 senior committed to North Carolina scored 13 points on 6-of-6 shooting, but he didn’t attempt a field goal in the game’s final 14 minutes.
No. 20 Imhotep Charter (Penn.) 57, No. 4 University School (Fla.) 54
Imhotep Charter dominated the first three quarters then staved off a comeback by the defending champ, knocking off Fort Lauderdale-University School 57-54 in the City of Palms Classic quarterfinals on Thursday.
University, which won the Class 5A state title last season, missed out on its chance to become the third back-to-back City of Palms champion in 33 years. The Sharks didn’t look like USA Today’s Super 25 No. 4 team in the country early, shooting 2-of-20 in the first half and trailing by 10 points at the break.
Imhotep, which won a Pennsylvania state title last year and is ranked No. 20 in the USA Today Super 25, led by as many as 17 and was up 44-29 with 6:10 to play.
The Philadelphia team held a big lead then fended off a comeback to knock off the defending City of Palms champs Adam Fisher/Naples Daily News
Behind Scottie Barnes, ranked the No. 5 junior in USA Today’s Chosen 25 and last year’s tournament MVP, University pulled within a point with 10 seconds left. However, despite his 21 points, Barnes missed a game-tying free throw with 3.8 seconds left.
Maryland commit Donta Scott led Imhotep with 23 points, seven rebounds and two blocks. Vernon Carey, Jr., the 6-foot-10 senior committed to Duke and ranked No. 1 by Rivals and No. 3 in the USA Today Chosen 25, scored 24 points for University, including going 14-of-17 from the free throw line.