High-SchoolBoys-Basketball: Michael Carrera

Bennett comes full circle; FAB 50 implications

March, 31, 2012
3/31/12
6:05
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BETHESDA, Md. -- It was a special moment for tournament MVP Anthony Bennett of Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.). Not many of the national television audience realize the No. 7 player in the ESPNU 100 played only 10 games for the Pilots heading into the NHSI and missed the majority of their big wins this season.

With all the setbacks Bennett has endured over the past two seasons, he was relieved to finally lead Findlay Prep to an NHSI title by averaging 15.7 points and 8.7 rebounds in the Pilots' three victories here.

As a sophomore, he was a member of the Mountain State Academy (Beckley, W.Va.) team that lost to Findlay Prep 68-53 in the semifinals. He scored 10 points in 22 minutes in that loss and netted 12 points in 29 minutes for Findlay Prep in its quarterfinal loss to Dwyer (Pompano Beach, Fla.) last season.

"This is the farthest I came in this tournament," said Bennett, one of five Pilots in double figures with 13 points to go with a game-high 9 rebounds in the championship-game comeback win over Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.).

"Coming in, I really wanted to win it this year," Bennett said.

The unsigned Bennett, who lists Washington, Oregon, UNLV, Kentucky and Florida as his college finalists, missed nearly half of his junior season at Findlay. His back injury flared up again at the beginning of this season. His hamstring injury lingered all season long and he was relieved to be healthy for the NHSI.

He's crossing his fingers about next season.

"Hopefully that doesn't happen in college," Bennett said. "Hopefully my college trainer will take care of me."

Now The Fun Part

The final POWERADE FAB 50 national rankings, which will be released on April 2, will have some shuffling based on the results of this year's NHSI. With No. 12 Montverde Academy giving up an 18-point lead and losing to No. 2 Findlay Prep, there will be a spirited No. 1 versus No. 2 rankings debate between No. 1 Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) and the Pilots.

The big question is if one-loss Findlay has done enough to overcome 44-0 Oak Hill. On paper, the Pilots have a strong enough résumé to be ranked No. 1 in the country.

They own wins over No. 5 Marcus (Flower Mound, Texas), No. 6 Simeon (Chicago) and No. 11 Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas). For the past few seasons, most of those big wins came on the road and this season was no exception.

Ironically, this game had the same feel as Findlay's only loss this season -- a one-point setback to No. 23 La Lumiere (La Porte, Ind.) on Dec. 29 at the Mike Miller Classic in Sioux Falls, S.D. The Pilots trailed in that game by the same margin as they did to Montverde, but the difference was at the NHSI they were able to complete the comeback win.

"At halftime, I told the guys 'Here we go again, December 29, La Lumiere,'" Findlay Prep coach Michael Peck said. "I pulled out all the different motivation factors. At first I really got into them, then I tried to be calm and use logic."

Peck's tactics worked against Montverde, but the La Lumiere loss is still a part of the equation when it comes to the final FAB 50 rankings. Another key part of the equation is the common opponent factor, which has always been an important aspect of the FAB 50. Oak Hill Academy defeated the same La Lumiere team by 18 points and owns five wins over opponents currently ranked in the FAB 50.

Another smaller factor which will be used in the final analysis is the fact La Lumiere lost in the quarterfinals of the NHSI to Montverde. The Lakers didn't look overly impressive in the 62-54 defeat. Findlay has to be thrilled about its comeback win over Montverde, but had La Lumiere advanced to the NHSI finals, an avenging win would have been sweeter from a rankings perspective.

No Oak Hill, No Problem

After knocking off No. 12 Montverde in the NHSI title game, the popular question for No. 2 Findlay was whether the win meant as much despite not coming against No. 1 Oak Hill Academy.

The Warriors opted not to compete in the NHSI for the first time since its inception in 2009. Oak Hill, which finished the season 44-0, traveled to China from March 7 to 19 to play nine games against international competition. The Warriors went on spring break when they got back, according to coach Steve Smith.

Findlay finished 32-1.

“All we could control was playing these games and winning these games,” Nigel Williams-Goss said. “Whatever happens on Monday with the rankings happens. We’re just happy about this win.”

Added Peck: “That’s something we can’t control. All we could do is control us. Steve [Smith] has his reasons and that’s his decision. We were focused on us.”

2012 ESPNHS NHSI All-Tournament

Anthony Bennett, Findlay Prep (MVP)
Brandon Ashley, Findlay Prep
Kasey Hill, Montverde Academy
Michael Carrera, Montrose Christian
Melvin Johnson, St. Benedict's

Jason Jordan contributed to this report.

Montverde squeaks past Montrose Christian

March, 30, 2012
3/30/12
2:51
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video

BETHESDA, Md. -- Instant analysis from No. 3 seed Montverde’s (Fla.) 50-47 win over No. 2 seed Montrose Christian (Rockville, Md.) in the semifinals of the ESPNHS National High School Invitational at Georgetown Prep on Friday:

Overview: The Eagles, who are ranked No. 12 in the POWERADE FAB 50, had to adjust to Montrose’s frantic defensive pressure, but when they figured it out, they made the Mustangs pay by moving the ball around and finding the open man. Michael Frazier knocked down two threes to ignite an early 8-0 run and put the Eagles ahead after falling behind 4-0. Still, neither team could do much to separate itself in the first half. It wasn’t until the third quarter that the Eagles’ duo of Frazier and Kasey Hill, who led the Eagles with 20 points, started to really expose Montrose’s overzealous defensive scheme. That led to a 12-point Montverde lead headed into the fourth. The Mustangs, who are ranked No. 9 in the FAB 50, stormed back in the fourth quarter and took their first lead, 41-40, with 2:11 left in regulation on Michael Carrera’s putback layup. Down the stretch, Hill came up with big buckets to give the Eagles a cushion. Mustangs forward Justin Anderson’s halfcourt heave at the buzzer missed off the back of the rim and the Eagles marched on. Montrose won the ESPNHS NHSI last year, a double-overtime thriller over Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.).

“They just couldn’t score in the halfcourt set,” said Montverde coach Kevin Boyle said. “They had one basket in the halfcourt in the first half. We just really tightened up defensively and got a big win over a great team.”

Turning Point: After the Mustangs opened the fourth quarter on a 14-2 run and eventually took the lead, Hill responded by scoring six of the Eagles’ final 10 points to seal the win.

“I wasn’t gonna lose the game,” said Hill, a Florida commit. “I knew that I could get to the rim when I wanted to, and I would have to step up and make plays. I didn’t want to let my team down.”

Key Player: Anderson, the No. 55 player in the ESPNU 100, had one of his worst statistical games of the season, shooting just 1 of 14 from the field and finishing with just three points. He was scoreless in the first half, and scored his only field goal on a breakaway layup with 5:14 left in the third quarter.

“It happens as a ballplayer,” said Anderson, a Virginia signee. “Sometimes you have bad games. This was just a bad game for me.”

Added Boyle: “Kasey did a terrific job guarding Justin. He forced him into tough shots all day and when he drove he had to shoot over our big guys. Kasey’s impact defensively was huge.”

Key Stat: The Mustangs shot 7 of 16 from the 3-point line in their quarterfinal win over Ravenscroft (Raleigh, N.C.). But in the loss to Montverde, Montrose missed all seven of its attempts from downtown.

“We did a great job of getting our hands up on their shot attempts,” Boyle said. “I don’t think they had a clean look all day, and that’s a credit to the kids and their defensive pressure.”

Up Next: The Eagles will face No. 1 seed Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) in the title game Saturday (2 p.m. ET on ESPN). Findlay Prep is ranked No. 2 in the POWERADE FAB 50. Montverde Academy is ranked No. 12.

Jason Jordan is the basketball editor for ESPNHS. He can be reached at jason.x.jordan.-ND@espn.com. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter: @JayJayESPN.

NHSI individual & team records

March, 22, 2012
3/22/12
6:56
PM ET
2012 boys' bracket | 2011 boys' bracket | 2010 boys' bracket | 2009 boys' bracket

Most Points (Game)
37 -- Austin Rivers, Winter Park vs. Christ School, 2010 quarterfinals
32 -- Cory Joseph, Findlay Prep vs. Mountain State, 2010 semifinals
31 -- Austin Rivers, Winter Park vs. Boys & Girls, 2011 quarterfinals
30 -- Jacoby Brissett, Dwyer vs. Findlay Prep, 2010 quarterfinals
29 -- Terrell Vinson, Montrose Christian vs. St. Benedict's Prep, 2009 quarterfinals
29 -- Quinn Cook, Oak Hill Academy vs. Dwyer, 2011 semifinals

Most Field Goals Made (Game)
15 -- Austin Rivers, Winter Park vs. Christ School, 2010 quarterfinals (15x26)
12 -- Terrell Vinson, Montrose Christian vs. St. Benedict's Prep, 2009 quarterfinals (12x20)
11 -- Doron Lamb, Oak Hill Academy vs. Pinewood Prep, 2009 quarterfinals (11x14)
11 -- Jacoby Brissett, Dwyer vs. Findlay Prep, 2010 quarterfinals (11x16)

Most Field Goal Attempts (Game)
26 -- Austin Rivers, Winter Park vs. Christ School, 2010 quarterfinals (15x26)

Most Free Throws Made (Game)
12 -- Nick Johnson, Findlay Prep vs. Dwyer, 2011 quarterfinals (12x17)
11 -- Austin Rivers, Winter Park vs. Boys & Girls, 2011 quarterfinals (11x14)
11 -- Quinn Cook, Oak Hill Academy vs. Dwyer, 2011 semifinals (11x12)
11 -- Tyrone Johnson, Montrose Christian vs. Oak Hill Academy, 2011 championship (11x11)

Most Free Throw Attempts (Game)
17 -- Nick Johnson, Findlay Prep vs. Dwyer, 2011 quarterfinals (12x17)
14 -- Mouphtaou Yarou, Montrose Christian vs. Findlay Prep, 2009 semifinals (6x14)
14 -- Austin Rivers, Winter Park vs. Boys & Girls, 2011 quarterfinals (11x14)
13 -- Tristan Thompson, Findlay Prep vs. Montverde Academy, 2010 championship (5x13)

Most Free Throws Without a Miss (Game)
11 -- Tyrone Johnson, Montrose Christian vs. Oak Hill Academy, 2011 championship (11x11)
8 -- Austin Rivers, Winter Park vs. Montverde Academy, 2010 semifinals (8x8)

Highest Free Throw Shooting Percentage (Tournament)
.947 -- Tyrone Johnson, Montrose Christian, 2011 (18x19)

Most 3-point Field Goals Made (Game)
6 -- Noah Cottrill, Mountain State Academy vs. Findlay Prep, 2009 quarterfinals (6x12)
5 -- Ronald Scott, John Carroll vs. Montrose Christian, 2011 quarterfinals (5x8)
5 -- Quinn Cook, Oak Hill Academy vs. United Faith Christian Academy, 2011 quarterfinals (5x9)
4 -- Ryan Bogdan, Pinewood Prep vs. Oak Hill Academy, 2009 quarterfinals (4x5)
4 -- Tamir Jackson, St. Benedict's Prep vs. Oak Hill Academy, 2009 semifinals (4x9)
4 -- Pe'Shon Howard, Oak Hill Academy vs. Findlay Prep, 2009 championship
4 -- Jamail Jones, Montverde Academy vs. Montrose Christian, 2010 quarterfinals (4x8)
4 -- Tyler Hubbard, Montrose Christian vs. John Carroll, 2011 quarterfinals (4x5)
4 -- Tyler Hubbard, Montrose Christian vs. Boys & Girls, 2011 semifinals (4x7)
4 -- Victor Adams, Dwyer vs. Oak Hill Academy, 2011 semifinals (4x7)
4 -- Keith Hornsby, Oak Hill Academy vs. Dwyer, 2011 semifinals (4x6)

Most 3-point Field Goal Attempts (Game)
13 -- Quinn Cook, Oak Hill Academy vs. Montrose Christian, 2011 championship (3x13)
13 -- Michael Taylor, Boys & Girls vs. Montrose Christian, 2011 semifinals (3x13)
12 -- Noah Cottrill, Mountain State Academy vs. Findlay Prep, 2009 quarterfinals (6x12)
11 -- Pe'Shon Howard, Oak Hill Academy vs. Mountain State Academy, 2010 quarterfinal (2x11)

Most Points (Career)
100 -- Corey Joseph, Findlay Prep, 2009-10 (6 games)
91 -- Austin Rivers, Winter Park, 2010-11 (3 games)

Highest Scoring Average (Tournament)
(minimum two games)
31.5 -- Austin Rivers, Winter Park, 2010 (63 points/2 games)
27.0 -- Quinn Cook, Oak Hill Academy, 2011 (81 points/3 games)
23.0 -- Jacoby Brissett, Dwyer, 2011 (46 points/2 games)
21.7 -- Jamail Jones, Montverde Academy, 2010 (65 points/3 games)
20.7 -- Avery Bradley, Findlay Prep, 2009 (62 points/3 games)

Highest Scoring Average (Career)
(minimum two games)
31.3 -- Austin Rivers, Winter Park, 2010-11 (94 points/3 games)

Most Rebounds (Game)
17 -- Michael Carrera, Montrose Christian vs. Boys & Girls, 2011 semifinals
15 -- Keith "Tiny" Gallon, Oak Hill Academy vs. Findlay Prep, 2009 championship
14 -- Keith "Tiny" Gallon, Oak Hill Academy vs. St. Benedict's Prep, 2009 semifinals
13 -- A.J. Hammonds, Oak Hill Academy vs. Dwyer, 2011 semifinals
13 -- Michael Carrera, Montrose Christian vs. Oak Hill Academy, 2011 championship

Most Rebounds (Career)
57 -- Tristan Thompson, Findlay Prep, 2009-10 (6 games)

Highest Rebounding Average (Tournament)
12.7 -- Michael Carrera, Montrose Christian, 2011 (38 rebounds/3 games)
11.0 -- Austin Rivers, Winter Park, 2010 (22 rebounds/2 games)
10.7 -- Keith "Tiny" Gallon, Oak Hill Academy, 2009 (32 rebounds/3games)

Highest Rebounding Average (Career)
10.3 -- Austin Rivers, Winter Park, 2010-11 (31 rebounds/3 games)
9.5 -- Tristan Thompson, Findlay Prep, 2009-10 (57 rebounds/6 games)

Most Assists (Game)
9 -- Pe'Shon Howard, Oak Hill Academy vs. Mountain State Academy, 2010 quarterfinal

Most Steals (Game)
8 -- Kenny Manigault, Pinewood Prep vs. Oak Hill Academy, 2009 quarterfinals
6 -- Malik Nichols, Boys & Girls vs. Winter Park, 2011 quarterfinals
5 -- Nick Johnson, Findlay Prep vs. Mountain State, 2010 semifinals
5 -- Quinn Cook, Oak Hill Academy vs. Montrose Christian, 2011 championship

Most Blocked Shots (Game)
5 -- Adam Jones, Winter Park vs. Christ School, 2010 quarterfinals
4 -- Isaiah Armwood, Montrose Christian vs. Findlay Prep, 2009 semifinals
4 -- David Nyarsuk, Mountain State Academy vs. Findlay Prep, 2010 semifinals

All-Time Team Records
Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) 6-1 (.857)
Montrose Christian (Rockville, Md.) 4-2 (.667)
Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.) 2-1 (.667)
Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) 4-3 (.571)
Boys & Girls (Brooklyn, N.Y.) 1-1 (.500)
Dwyer (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) 1-1 (.500)
St. Benedict's Prep (Newark, N.J.) 1-1 (.500)
Mountain State Academy (Beckley, W.Va.) 1-2 (.333)
Winter Park (Winter Park, Fla.) 1-2 (.333)
Charlotte Christian (Charlotte, N.C.) 0-1 (.000)
Christ School (Arden, N.C.) 0-1 (.000)
Friends' Central (Wynnewood, Pa.) 0-1 (.000)
John Carroll (Bel Air, Md.) 0-1 (.000)
Pinewood Prep (Summerville, S.C.) 0-1 (.000)
St. Francis (Baltimore, Md.) 0-1 (.000)
United Faith Christian Academy (Charlotte, N.C.) 0-1 (.000)

NHSI GIRLS INDIVIDUAL & TEAM RECORDS

Most Points (Game)
25 -- Ariel Johnson, Oak Hill Academy vs. Peddie School, 2010 championship
23 -- Kianna Conner, Dillard vs. Oak Hill Academy, 2010 semifinals
22 -- Ashley Gomez, Murry Bergtraum vs. Hollywood Christian, 2011 semifinals

Most Field Goals Made (Game)
10 -- Cori Coleman, Dr. Phillips vs. Murry Bergtraum, 2011 championship (10x20)

Most Field Goal Attempts (Game)
20 -- Morgan Jones, Lake Mary vs. Peddie School, 2010 semifinals (3x20)
20 -- Cori Coleman, Dr. Phillips vs. Murry Bergtraum, 2011 championship (10x20)

Most Free Throws Made (Game)
9 -- Ariel Johnson, Oak Hill Academy vs. Peddie School, 2010 championship (9x9)

Most Free Throw Attempts (Game)
12 -- Tierra Hawkins, Riverdale Baptist vs. St. Francis, 2009 semifinals
9 -- Ariel Johnson, Oak Hill Academy vs. Peddie School, 2010 championship (9x9)
9 -- Hannah Schaible, Dr. Phillips vs. Riverdale Baptist, 2011 semifinals (8x9)

Most Free Throws Made Without a Miss (Game)
9 -- Ariel Johnson, Oak Hill Academy vs. Peddie School, 2010 championship (9x9)

Highest Free Throw Shooting Percentage (Tournament)
1.000 -- Ariel Johnson, Oak Hill Academy, 2010 (11x11)

Most 3-point Field Goals Made (Game)
6 -- Kianna Conner, Dillard vs. Oak Hill Academy, 2010 semifinals (6x11)

Most 3-point Field Goal Attempts (Game)
11 -- Kianna Conner, Dillard vs. Oak Hill Academy, 2010 semifinals (6x11)

Highest Scoring Average (Tournament)
21.5 -- Ariel Johnson, Oak Hill Academy, 2010 (43 points/2 games)
17.5 -- Hannah Schaible, Dr. Phillips, 2011 (35 points/2 games)

Most Rebounds (Game)
16 -- Tianna Hawkins, Riverdale Baptist vs. Seton Keough, 2009 championship
13 -- Shenaqua Reese, Murry Bergtraum vs. Hollywood Christian, 2011 semifinals

Highest Rebounding Average (Tournament)
12.5 -- Tianna Hawkins, Riverdale Baptist vs. Seton Keough, 2009 (25 rebounds/2 games)

Most Assists (Game)
11 -- Dawnn Maye, Dillard vs. Oak Hill Academy, 2010 semifinals

Most Steals (Game)
7 -- Rahneeka Saunders, Riverdale Baptist vs. St. Francis, 2009 semifinals
7 -- Alex Rodgers, Oak Hill Academy vs. Dillard, 2010 semifinals
5 -- Liz Brown, Seton Keough vs. Riverdale Baptist, 2009 championship
5 -- Ariel Johnson, Oak Hill Academy vs. Peddie School, 2010 championship
5 -- Alex Smith, Peddie School vs. Oak Hill Academy, 2010 championship

Most Blocked Shots (Game)
7 -- Ariel Johnson, Oak Hill Academy vs. Peddie School, 2010 championship
6 -- Tianna Hawkins, Riverdale Baptist vs. St. Francis, 2009 semifinals

All-Time Team Records
Dr. Phillips (Orlando, Fla.) 2-0 (1.000)
Peddie School (Highstown, N.J.) 2-0 (1.000)
Seton Keough (Baltimore, Md.) 2-0 (1.000)
Murry Bergtraum (New York) 1-1 (.500)
Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) 1-2 (.333)
Riverdale Baptist (Upper Marlboro, Md.) 1-2 (.333)
Dillard (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) 0-1 (.000)
Holllywood Christian (Hollywood, Fla.) 0-1 (.000)
Lake Mary (Lake Mary, Fla.) 0-1 (.000)
St. Francis (Baltimore, Md.) 0-1 (.000)

Ronnie Flores is a senior editor for ESPNHS. He can be reached at ronnie.flores@espn.com. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter: @RonFloresESPN

NHSI preview: Montrose Christian

March, 22, 2012
3/22/12
12:00
PM ET
Team: No. 2 seed Montrose Christian (Rockville, Md.)
Record, FAB 50 Rank: 20-2, No. 9 (No. 4 in the East)
Head Coach: Stu Vetter (13th year at school, 301-41 record; 36-year career, four schools, 858-107 record)

Key Players:

Justin Anderson
The 6-foot-7, 220-pound senior forward is capping his four-year Mustang career with a chance to repeat as an NHSI champion. Vetter describes him as a "winner" since he has played the last two years on teams with only three losses by a total of six points. The University of Virginia recruit is ranked No. 55 in the ESPNU 100 and has surpassed the 1,000 point mark for his career. "He's improved each year on both ends of the court and is an amazing athlete, maybe the best I've coached and I've had some good ones," says Vetter. "He not only jumps high, but with power." This season, Anderson averages a team-best 18 points a game. He shoots over 70 percent both from the floor and free throw line.

Michael Carrera
A three-year Montrose veteran, the 6-foot-6 senior forward is the team's top rebounder (10.2) and second-leading scorer (13 ppg.). "Michael is one of six seniors who provide leadership to the team," Vetter says. "He's steady and consistent and makes plays. He's a rock under the basket and has been a big part of our success the last couple of years. He's gotten stronger and can match up with a lot of opponents." Carrera does more than turn in double-doubles, as he's also makes big defensive plays when the Mustangs need them and provides an emotional spark.

Ishmail Wainwright
Vetter labels this 6-foot-6, 220-pound forward "one of the best juniors in the country. He can play all five positions." Rated No. 27 in the ESPNU 60, Wainwright is one of the better passing forwards around with a team-best 8.2 assists per game. He also averages eight points and 2.9 steals a game. "He makes everyone better," Vetter notes. The touted underclassman has several college offers including UCLA, Kansas and Duke.

Road to NHSI:

The defending NHSI champion started the season ranked No. 4 in the FAB 50 and has only faltered twice — both by two points. The Mustangs bowed to host Marcus (Flower Mound, Texas) by 42-40 in mid-December before competing in the Iolani Holiday Classic in Honolulu, a regular stop in recent seasons.

At that event, the Mustangs defeated two teams who have been nationally ranked this season — Westbury Christian (Houston, Texas) and current FAB 50 No. 28 Orlando Christian Prep (Orlando, Fla.). Marcus, ranked No. 5 in the FAB 50, ended its season with a 39-2 record and repeat Texas championship.

The other Mustang loss came on Jan. 26 when District of Columbia champion and NHSI participate Coolidge scored a 51-49 win. Otherwise, it was business as usual for Montrose and its talented cast of cagers.

Inside Scoop:

It all starts with Anderson. "We go as he goes," Vetter offers. "He's our four-year veteran and plays like it." Vetter rotates a lot of players but starts Anderson, Carrera, Wainwright, 5-foot-8 four-year veteran point guard Yuki Togashi, and one of three players: 6-foot-10, 240-pound senior Kevin Larsen, 6-foot-6 senior Cedric Blossom or 6-foot-2 sophomore Kevin Zabo.

Larsen averages eight points and 7.4 rebounds, Blossom five points and 5.6 rebounds, and Zabo six points and 3.8 assists. In last season's NHSI championship win over Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.), Larsen played well off the bench.

"We're a deeper, stronger team than last year," Vetter says. "Eight of our 12 players were in the NHSI last season and the kids look forward to competing again for a national title. It's a great experience and one of our team goals each year to compete in the event. It's a chance to compete against the best and great for high school basketball. This year's field could be the best, top to bottom, in the four years. There's no easy games and all will be a battle. The TV exposure makes it special and some players not playing in it probably are envious of the ones competing."

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