With the first day of the ESPN RISE National High School Invitational (NHSI) over, it’s time to take a look at the match-ups today in the semifinal round.
Montrose Christian (#1) vs. Boys & Girls (#5) 3:30 p.m. (EST)
After the top seed in the tournament Montrose Christian (MD) barely squeaked by eight-seed John Carroll (MD) in the first round yesterday, they will play a Boys & Girls (NY) squad who took down the Florida state champions in Winter Park (FL) led by #1 overall prospect Austin Rivers (Duke). Montrose Christian will have to deal with a squad that loves to control the glass whenever they play to limit opponents’ second-chance points and get second-chance scores of their own. Boys & Girls is led by Malik Nichols, Michael Taylor, and Leroy Fludd who had 20 points and eight rebounds, 15 points and six rebounds, and 10 points and 12 rebounds, respectively. However, Montrose Christian is a team with great size so despite Boys & Girls’ ability to almost always control the glass they will be at a disadvantage since Montrose Christian has many big men that can rebound such as Michael Carrera and forward Justin Anderson. If Montrose Christian wants to advance to the final round of the NHSI, Justin Anderson will need to be more aggressive and attack the basket . However, I look for Nichols and Taylor to be able to score at a high rate and to neutralize Montrose Christian’s rebounding advantage so I predict that Boys & Girls will pull off the upset and send the #1 seed home to advance to the championship game.
Oak Hill (#2) vs. Dwyer (#6) 5:30 p.m. (EST)
Oak Hill (VA) will look to continue to roll through the competition after they beat #7 United Faith Christian Academy. McDonald’s All-American and Duke-commit Quinn Cook was one of the standout performers yesterday with 27 points, six rebounds, and six assists. He shots over 50% from behind the three-point line (5-9) and made some very impressive passes. His court vision was incredible and a lot of his passes end up being easy lay-ups. Jordan Adams and A.J. Hammons were also impact players for Oak Hill as they had 20 points and nine rebounds and 11 points and 11 rebounds, respectively. However, they will run into a Dywer (FL) squad led by Florida football commit Jacoby Brissett who scored the second-most points of anybody yesterday with 30. He shot close to 70% from the field and consistently hit contested jumpers on the wings and at the top of the key. He will probably match-up against Adams since they are of similar size and strength and will likely out-play him. However, I think Oak Hill will be simply too much for Dwyer and will win by double-digits and advance to the finals to play the winner of Montrose Christian (MD) and Boys & Girls (NY).