Four days after McEachern High School’s (Powder Springs, Ga.) starting five exclusively told USA Today Sports that they were skipping GEICO High School Basketball Nationals, which runs from April 4-7 in New York City, due to, among other things, scheduling conflicts, the Indians have officially decided to pull out of the prestigious tournament.
“We deeply regret that McEachern will no longer be able to participate in GEICO High School Basketball Nationals due to conflicting player schedules,” McEachern coach Mike Thompson said. “We have the utmost respect for the event and its organizers and recognize the tremendous opportunity it would have provided our student-athletes. We wish all participating teams the best of luck in the prestigious end of the year tournament.”
The Indians, who are ranked No. 2 overall in the USA Today Super 25, finished the season 32-0 and won the school’s first state title in boys basketball. McEachern had nine wins over Super 25 teams this season.
Their replacement will be Bishop Gorman High School (Las Vegas), which finished 28-4 and won its eighth-straight state title.
The Gaels had wins elite national teams like No. 23 Gonzaga Prep School (Spokane, Wash.), Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) and Rancho Christian School (Temecula, Calif) this season.
“While we would have loved having McEachern participate in this year’s GEICO High School Basketball Nationals, we respect their decision and congratulate the Indians on a tremendous season,” said Rashid Ghazi of Paragon Marketing Group, which created and runs the GEICO Nationals. “McEachern’s withdrawal created a vacancy in the tournament that will be filled by first-time participant Bishop Gorman High School out of Nevada—a program that just won its eighth consecutive state championship. We look forward to having this historically successful program join one of the strongest fields in GEICO Nationals history.”
Bishop Gorman enters GEICO Nationals as the No. 8 seed and will face No. 1 La Lumiere School (La Porte, Ind.) on April 4.
Due to the changes each team will move up a spot in the seeding, except for La Lumiere.
Here’s a look at the seedings.
No. 1 La Lumiere School (La Porte, Ind.)
No. 2 Montverde (Fla.) Academy
No. 3 IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.)
No. 4 Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.)
No. 5 Wasatch Academy (Mount Pleasant, Utah)
No. 6 Sunrise Christian Academy (Bel Aire, Kan.)
No. 7 University School (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
No. 8 Bishop Gorman High School (Las Vegas)
Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY