MIDDLE VILLAGE, N.Y. — Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) couldn’t make a basket in the first half, let alone a three-pointer.
So, how did the Pilots pull away from defending tournament champion La Lumiere (La Porte, Ind.)? By hitting open shots.
Kyler Edwards and Reggie Chaney led the Pilots with 23 points and 16 points, respectively and Connor Vanover hit two big three-pointers as No. 3 Findlay Prep advanced with a 66-54 quarterfinal victory Thursday at the GEICO High School Nationals.
“Kyler has been knocking down big shots all year long and I’m looking forward to seeing what he’s going to do tomorrow,” Findlay Prep coach Paul Washington said.
Pilots big man Bol Bol, who played in the McDonald’s All-American Game on Wednesday, had only four points.
“We’re a well-balanced team, with or without (Bol), we’re going to do pretty well,” Washington said.
Isaiah Stewart led La Lumiere with 23 points. The Lakers were 0-for-12 in three-pointers and only shot eight free throws.
No. 6 La Lumiere led 25-18 in the first half, holding the Pilots to 27.6% shooting from the floor.
No. 3 Findlay Prep (32-4) went on a 12-3 run to start the second half, punctuated with a follow-dunk by Chaney to put the Pilots up 30-28, their first lead of the game.
Stewart led No. 6 La Lumiere (23-4) to a 25-18 first-half lead with 12 points and seven rebounds. Bol struggled, going 0-for-7 from the floor, but he was far from the only player on his team to have trouble in the first half. The top scorer for Findlay was Edwards with eight in the first half.
“I got kind of loose from yesterday, and really in the first half, I felt kind of hot,” Edwards said.
Findlay Prep will play in Friday’s second semifinal (5 p.m., ESPN2) vs the winner of the Montverde Academy-Lone Peak quarterfinal.
Follow Jim Halley on Twitter at: @jimhalley