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Elliot Cadeau's passing highlights Link Academy's win over Sunrise Christian

Photo: Greta Cross/Springfield News-Leader

After No. 8 Sunrise Christian took down top-seeded Montverde in the quarterfinals of the GEICO Nationals, No. 4 Link Academy started the game with a message: That stops now. No more upsets. The Buffaloes would not be a Cinderella team. And with a 22-point lead in the first half, it looked like Link would have no issues.

But then Sunrise Christian carved into that deficit. They cut it down to 15. Then 10. Then suddenly it was just a two-possession game and, finally, the Buffaloes took the lead.

But that lead was short-lived as Link Academy managed to pull back ahead and hang in front over the closing minutes to get the 67-61 win and advance to the championship game.

Throughout the contest, Link was highlighted by five-star point guard Elliot Cadeau.

In the quarterfinals, Cadeau only scored two points but he recorded 14 assists to break the GEICO record, previous held by Andrew Nembhard in 2018. He again played the floor general role in the semifinals, but also took the lead in scoring, recording a double-double with 16 points, four made 3-pointers and 10 assists.

That passing highlighted the game, with several successful alley-oops thrown down:

It wasn’t just working fast in transition and lobbing it to teammates. Cadeau had two late passes that were as good as any of his alley-oops.

The first clip on this video is maybe his best pass of the game, somehow seeing through two defenders to drop off the pass and get a much-needed basket late in the fourth quarter:

Then, with a three-point lead and the ball being inbounded underneath the basket, Cadeau made a quick inbounds pass to a teammate just a few feet to the left of the rim. Instead of allowing Sunrise Christian to foul and having to clinch the game at the line, the pass allowed his teammate to get an easy finish — and the foul, an and-one that iced the game.

With 24 assists in two games, Cadeau has shown he is an excellent floor general and has elite court vision. The broadcast mentioned the rumor that the junior may reclassify and join North Carolina next year – if the GEICO Nationals have shown anything so far, it’s that his methodical takedown of competition should absolutely translate to the next level.

Link Academy will take on AZ Compass Prep in the championship game on Saturday at 12 p.m. Eastern Time.

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