Back to Back: Montverde Academy beats Link Academy to defend GEICO Nationals title

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Montverde Academy defended its GEICO Nationals crown on Saturday afternoon, knocking off Link Academy by a final score of 60-49 for its second straight title.

The championship is Montverde Academy’s sixth under legendary head coach Kevin Boyle. Montverde Academy’s girl’s team won the girl’s GEICO Nationals earlier on Saturday, making it a clean sweep for the school.

Five-star Texas signee Dillon Mitchell and Malik Reneau led the way with double-doubles. Mitchell finished with 17 points and 12 rebounds, while the uncommitted Reneau registered 14 points and 12 rebounds en route to the win.

“It’s exciting,” Reneau told ESPN postgame. “We came through a lot of ups and downs early in the season. We thought everything was going downhill. We really picked it up and you can see it right now. We won a national championship.”

Five-star Duke signee Dariq Whitehead didn’t dominate as he did in the semifinals against IMG Academy, but managed to impact the game in a multitude of ways — especially as a distributor. Montverde Academy assisted on 16 of its 24 made field goals with Whitehead functioning as its primary facilitator.

Link Academy started strong and made things difficult on Montverde Academy in the first half. Montverde got in a groove in the second half, though, and quickly put the game away down the stretch to add to its jam-packed trophy case.

“It came down to who wants it more,” Mitchell said. “The whole game I was telling them, ‘This is our last game of high school basketball. Last 16 minutes. Give it all we got.’ So, we went out there and fought.”

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