Montrose defeats Ravenscroft, Findlay Prep defeats Coolidge in ESPN NHSI Quarterfinals

Defending NHSI champions Montrose Christian won convincingly in the opening day of the 2012 ESPN NHSI Tournament.  Coolidge ran in to trouble however, as they faced Findlay Prep, the #2 ranked team in the nation.

Georgetown Prep was the site for four quarterfinal games on Thursday in the fourth annual ESPN rise National High School Invitational.  Two teams from the DMV were invited to this year’s event.  Montrose Christian, currently ranked #9 in the country by ESPN and the defending NHSI champions were the #2 seed and were paired with Ravenscroft, the #7 seed out of North Carolina.

Montrose defeated Ravenscroft by a score of 64-48 in the second of four games.  The game turned into a dunk contest late, leaving fans very entertained despite the double digit margin of victory.  Justin Anderson led all scorers with 21 points.  Junior Ishmail Wainwright chipped in 15 and seven boards.  Senior Michael Carrera scored nine points and added a game high 14 rebounds.

Ravenscroft was led by Louisville commit Anton Gill who scored 16 points to go along with six assists and five rebounds.

In the fourth and final game on Thursday evening Findlay Prep of Henderson, Nevada, ESPN’s #2 ranked team in the nation who entered the NHSI at 29-1 was matched up with DCIAA champions, Coolidge.  It was evident from the jump that Coolidge was playing with a serious height disadvantage.  Findlay Prep has three players on their roster listed below 6’6″ and dress seven players 6’9″ or taller.  In contrast, Coolidge lists zero players 6’9″ or taller.

Coolidge did hang around early and had the support of most of the Bethesda Gymnasium.  After one period Findlay held an 18-12 advantage.  In the second quarter Findlay began to impose their will, outscoring the Colts 25-13 in the frame.  When it was all said and done Findlay out rebounded Coolidge 60-29.  Findlay shot 42.6% from the field.  Coolidge shot 25%. The most staggering stat; Findlay shot 31-43 from the free throw line.  Coolidge shot 8-15.  The final score was 79-44.  Khalen Cumberlander was the only Colt in double figures with 13.  Findlay had four players in double figures and was led by McDonald’s All-American Anthony Bennett who double-doubled with 23 points and 10 rebounds.  He shot 14-17 from the line. Findlay’s other McDonalds All-American, Brandon Ashley, an Arizona commit, scored 11 points in 17 minutes.

With the wins, Montrose and Findlay advance to Friday’s semi-finals.  Montrose will play Montverde, ESPN’s #12 ranked team in the nation who defeated La Lumiere of Indiana 62-54 in Thursday’s quarter-finals.  Montverde of Florida should really challenge Montrose.  They have five guys who go 6’8″ or taller and are currently 22-3.  Findlay Prep will face St. Benedict’s Prep of New Jersey.  St. Benedict’s is ranked #15 in the country by ESPN and feature one of the best guards in the country in Melvin Johnson, a Miami (Fl) commit.  Findlay will have a decisive height advantage in that contest.

Fridays games will take place at 11:30AM and 1:30PM on Friday at Georgetown Prep.  Both games will be televised on ESPN2.

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