NEW YORK — After pulling out a win at the buzzer in the quarterfinals on Thursday, Huntington Prep couldn’t manage the same type of late magic against No. 1 Monteverde Academy (Fla.) Friday.
Although the Irish led throughout much of the game, the Eagles rallied and hit their foul shots down the stretch in persevering for a 56-51 win in the semifinals of the Dick’s Sporting Goods High School National Tournament at Christ the King High School.
Monteverde stayed perfect on the year at 27-0 and will go on to play No. 6 Oak Hill (Va.) in the finals at noon today at Madison Square Garden. Oak Hill dispatched of No. 7 Findlay Prep (Nev.) earlier on Friday in the tournament’s other semifinal.
Today’s game will be televised on ESPN.
Meanwhile, the season comes to a close for Prep, which finished off a 28-5 campaign by winning 15 in a row prior to Friday’s setback.
It was a defensive battle throughout much of the game with Huntington Prep matching its season low in scoring while holding the Eagles to their season low.
After Monteverde got out to a 16-10 lead after a quarter, the Irish’s defense settled in nicely, holding Monteverde to just two second-quarter points and taking a 21-18 lead into the break. The Eagles managed just 29.2 percent shooting in the first half.
That figure went up to 44.4 percent in the second half as the teams traded buckets down to the end.
For the game, Monteverde shot 37.3 percent compared to just 35.6 percent for Huntington Prep.
Russell D’Angelo had 17 points for Monteverde to lead all scorers while Justin bibbs added 13 poitns and Ben Simmons 12 for the Eagles.
Jalen Lindsey was the only double-digit scorer for Prep with 14 points including 4 of 9 from 3-point range.
Former Liberty Raleigh player Levi Cook contributed five points and nine rebounds in 16 minutes.
The Irish made 13 of 21 free throws and committed 16 turnovers compared to 10 for Monteverde.
The Eagles also held advantages in points in the paint (28-20), second-chance points (11-4) and fast-break points (10-5).