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Saturday, January 7, 2012
Showdown in O-Town

By Lucas O'Neill

10:01 p.m. The fourth and final boys' basketball game at the Showdown and O-Town was a nail-biter, with Olympia edging First Academy 77-73. FA’s Dillon Graham had 26 points to lead all scorers, but Olympia’s Marc-Eddy Norelia (16 points), Derek Reese (15) and T.J. Johnson (13) put the Titans over the top. Hudson Price added 11 for First Academy. Olympia had a nine-point lead, 73-64, in the fourth quarter before the Royals closed to within three with 8.4 seconds to play on a 3-pointer by Price. But Johnson, who was fouled on the ensuing possession, hit one of two free throws to make it a two-possession game and ice it for the Titans. We’ll have more analysis of this and all the Showdown in O-Town games tomorrow.

8:47 p.m. In the final game of the Showdown in O-Town, Olympia leads First Academy 42-34 at the half. Tulane-bound Marc-Eddy Norelia has paced the Titans with 15 points, including a pair of thunderous dunks. Florida-bound Dillon Graham has 13 for First Academy.

7:59 p.m. And there it is. A game after his brother Reggie’s Orlando Christian Prep team won, coach Josh Kohn’s Hagerty squad pulled off a huge upset of the state’s top team, Montverde Academy. The partial-to-Hagerty crowd exploded late in the fourth quarter when it became clear the game was in hand for the Huskies, who won 60-52. Next up: Olympia vs. First Academy.

7:02 p.m. So how about this: Unranked Hagerty leads the state's top team, Montverde Academy, 28-25 at halftime. Cartree Pettis has 10 points for the Huskies, while teammate Ira Smith has seven. Michael Frazier leads the way for Montverde with eight points.

6:25 p.m. It’s a wrap. Host Orlando Christian Prep took down Leesburg 65-49 in Game 2 of the Showdown in O-Town on Saturday. Up 42-41 heading into the fourth quarter, OCP outscored Leesburg 14-2 over the first five minutes of the final frame and never looked back. Isaac Cohen had 15 points for the Warriors, including two that seemed to signal the game’s turning point. With his team up six, 49-43, Cohen slammed home a dunk in transition and went down hard, drawing an intentional foul. Overall, OCP outscored Leesburg 23-8 in the fourth. Leesburg’s Undra Mitchem had 12 of his 14 points in the first half, while teammate Joe Toolie finished with 17. Dre Clayton had 13 points and Jordan Montgomery 10 for Orlando Christian Prep. Next up: Montverde Academy vs. Hagerty.

5:30 p.m. Leesburg leads host Orlando Christian Prep 30-28 at halftime, led by 12 points from Undra Mitchem and 10 from Joe Toolie.

4:50 p.m. What an opener. Lake Highland Prep edged Dr. Phillips 50-48 in the first game of the Showdown in O-Town. The Panthers had a chance to tie but Roderick Lawrence’s short jumper rimmed out at the buzzer. The duel between LHP sophomore Joel Berry and DP junior RaShawn Powell — two of the state’s best guards — lived up to expections, with Berry scoring 26 points and Powell scoring seven of his 11 in the fourth quarter. Next up: Leesburg vs. Orlando Christian Prep.

3:45 p.m. Halftime. Lake Highland Prep leads Dr. Phillips 23-22 at the break.

2:55 p.m. We're about five minutes away from Lake Highland Prep and Dr. Phillips tipping off in the first boys' game at the Showdown in O-Town at Orlando Christian Prep, a tourney pitting some of the state's top public schools against their private school counterparts. LHP (14-2) and DP (12-3) are both ranked in the top 10 in our Florida Weekly Hoop Rankings, while five of the other six teams participating are in the top 25, including No. 1 Montverde Academy. Here's how the schedule shakes out:

3 p.m. Lake Highland Prep vs. Dr. Phillips
4:40 p.m. Orlando Christian Prep vs. Leesburg
6:20 p.m. Montverde Academy vs. Hagerty
8 p.m. First Academy vs. Olympia


To get a sense of how evenly matched these teams are, consider this: Montverde Academy beat Dr. Phillips; DP beat First Academy; FA beat Lake Highland Prep; LHP beat Orlando Christian Prep; and Olympia beat Leesburg. By the end of the day, there's likely to be even more parity. Check back later for scores and notes from O-Town.