MIDDLE VILLAGE, N.Y. – As the No. 1 overall seed and No. 1 team in the USA Today Super 25, La Lumiere School (La Porte, Ind.) expected a supreme effort from Bishop Gorman High School (Las Vegas) in the opening round of the GEICO High School Nationals.
The Gaels were coming off a state title and only got in to the GEICO Nationals after No. 2 McEachern High School (Powder Springs, Ga.) dropped out amid scheduling conflicts.
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The Gaels gave the Lakers all they could handle, but La Lumiere managed to survive and advance with a 74-69 win in double overtime.
Isaiah Stewart led La Lumiere with 25 points and seven rebounds, Wendell Green Jr. and Keion Brooks added 19 points and 18 points in the win.
Will McClendon led Bishop Gorman with 22 points, Noah Taitz added 16 for the Gaels.
“We knew they were a really good team and that they could shoot the ball,” La Lumiere coach Patrick Holmes said. “They hit 13 threes and you’re typically not gonna win a game when a team is shooting like that, but that’s a testament to our guys. We fought hard and we stayed together.”
After trailing by three through three quarters, the Lakers led most of the fourth quarter, opening on a 13-5 run, but Taitz drained a three with 49 seconds in regulation to tie the score at 56.
Brooks answered with a three with 14.5 seconds left and McClendon countered with a three of his own to send the game to overtime.
Green’s go-ahead layup rolled off the rim as time expired in the first overtime, but the Lakers shot 3-of-6 from the field and the Gaels went 0-for-5 from the three-point line in the second overtime to secure the win.
“We knew that we just had to stay together,” said Stewart, who went 11-of-11 from the free-throw line. “That’s what we kept saying all game. I knew that we needed to just relax and have fun, but the biggest thing was to stay together and that’s how we were able to get the win.”
The Lakers will face the Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) – Wasatch Academy (Mount Pleasant, Utah) winner Friday at 5 p.m. (ESPN2) in the semifinals.
“That was a tough game,” Brooks said. “We’ll go get rest and take care of our bodies and we’ll play better tomorrow.”
The final Super 25 Boys Basketball Rankings will be released on April 8.
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