Beach Ball Classic final set for New Year’s Eve battle

MontThe 35th annual Beach Ball Classic will wrap up New Year’s Eve with the championship game between an expected participant, in Montverde, the No. 3 ranked team in the country, and the giant killers from St. John’s College High School out of Washington, DC.

Montverde cruised through the tournament with an early victory over Socastee, a scrappy win over St. Francis and an earned win in Wednesday night’s defeat of Seton Hall by a score of 66 – 59.

St. John’s shocked the Beach Ball crowd inside the Myrtle Beach Convention Center Tuesday night when they upset No. 6 ranked Mater Dei, before toppling a Shadow Mountain team led by head coach Mike Bibby.

The Beach Ball third place game is set for 5:30pm and features Seton Hall Prep out of New Jersey and Shadow Mountain.

In the opening half of the first semi final of the day, Montverde (14-1) built a quick 9-2 run before Seton Hall (5-1) scored the next eight points to take a 10-9 lead with 10:24 remaining in the first half.  The teams battled the remainder of the half as neither squad could earn more than a two point advantage.  Silvio DeSousa connected on a pair of free throws to tie the game at 25-25 heading to the break.  The game was tied a total of six times and the lead changed sides on the scoreboard 10 times in the opening 16 minute half.

After trading baskets to open the second half, Montverde went on a 13-2 run to open a 40-30 advantage with 10:43 remaining in a thunderous dunk by Simisola Shittu.  The Eagles went on to lead by as many as 16 points in cruising to the victory.

Montverde was led by Micah Potter’s 13 points while freshman RJ Barrett chipped in 14 points and five assists for the Eagles.  Seton Hall was paced by TJ Gibbs’ 20 points, with half of those coming from the free throw line on a perfect 10-for-10 night.

St. John’s College Prep (Washington, D.C.) defeated Shadow Mountain (AZ) 77-70 to advance to the championship game.  St. John’s (12-0) will face #2 Montverde (FL) for the title at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday.

In a game that was marred by 57 fouls and 80 free throws, the teams battled to nine lead changes and six ties.  St. John’s was led by Anthony Cowan’s 29 points as he connected on 16-of-17 from the free throw line.  Jeffrey Dowtin added 25 points for the Cadets.

Shadow Mountain (10-3; Phoenix, AZ) was led by Michael Bibby’s 24 points while JJ Rhymes added 22 points and 10 rebounds for the Matadors.

 

Photo Credit: Digital Magic Photography

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