Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Prime Prep's rally falls short, season ends in 57-55 loss to Florida’s Montverde Academy in National High School Invitational semis
NORTH BETHESDA, Md. — The stage was set for another dramatic Prime Prep rally. Another comeback would put the first-year charter school in the championship game of the prestigious National High School Invitational.
After trailing nearly the entire basketball game, Prime Prep finally pulled even with Florida’s Montverde Academy with 16 seconds left in Friday’s semifinal on a pair of free throws by junior Emmanuel Mudiay. Just a day earlier, Prime Prep had rallied from four down in the final minute of overtime for a one-point win in its tournament opener.
But this time, it was Montverde that made the clutch plays in a 57-55 win over Prime Prep.
Montverde guard Miguel Cartegena drew a foul from Mudiay with six seconds left that led to the go-ahead free throws. Then Eagles guard Jalyn Patterson knocked away Mudiay’s final 3-point attempt on the ensuing possession to advance Montverde to a matchup with St. Benedict’s Prep from New Jersey in Saturday’s championship game.
St. Benedict’s beat defending tournament champion Findlay Prep (Nev.), 60-57, in the other semifinal, ending Findlay Prep’s 54-game winning streak.
Mudiay, ranked as the nation’s second-best recruit in the Class of 2014 by Rivals.com, had 13 points and nine rebounds to go with his game-high seven assists. LSU signee Jordan Mickey, who scored 28 points in Thursday’s win, had 12 points against Montverde.
“I won two state championships [at Arlington Grace Prep], so this is the first time I lost my last game,” Mudiay said in an emotional postgame press conference. “That’s really hitting me right now. For me, I just hate losing for my teammates.”
Prime Prep finished 37-2 in a season that saw it drop out of the UIL and then play a national schedule.
“Starting up, it’s always tough. We went through a lot of adversity, and that actually helped us,” Prime Prep coach Ray Forsett said. “It was a good season, good first season. But we’re not satisfied at all.”