One year ago, the Olympia Titans stopped an area record 48-game boys basketball winning streak by Orlando Christian Prep with a 50-48 victory against the Warriors in a Rotary Tip-Off Classic quarterfinal.
Now the two state-ranked teams will face off in the championship game of the 46th edition of the tournament on Saturday night at Winter Park High School.
Both scored convincing semifinal victories on Friday night to improve to 3-0.
Olympia, the reigning Tip-Off title team, won 71-53 against Daytona Beach Mainland (2-2). OCP, winner of the 2020 Tip-Off and the past three Class 2A state championships, prevailed by a comfortable 71-45 margin over Kissimmee Osceola (2-2).
The Class 7A No. 5 Titans set the tone early against Mainland thanks to 15 first-quarter points by junior guard Kaiden White, who hit 5 3-pointers in the first eight minutes of the game. He finished with 22 points to lead all scorers. Olympia junior Carter McDole took the reins from there, scoring 13 points in the second and third quarters to finish with 15.
“I thought Kaiden was amazing tonight,” Olympia coach Rob Gordon said, “It was just his coming-out party. He can really, really shoot the basketball. I said coming into the season, he’s the best player nobody knows about. Now everybody knows about him.”
Olympia’s All-State senior, E.J. “Jizzle” James, spent most of the first half on the bench after picking up two early fouls. He returned to the court after the break and finished with 11 points.
Isaiah Brown, a 6-foot-4 junior, scored 15 of his 17 points in the first half as the 2A No. 1 Warriors posted their second blowout win after beating Boone by 32 on Wednesday.
Brown did most of his work on the interior, taking advantage of his size. The second half belonged to junior point guard Ameer Ramadan, who scored 9 points in the third quarter.
Host Winter Park (1-3), which lost a close game against Mainland on Thursday, got into the win column with a 51-48 overtime victory against Sanford Seminole (1-3) in the consolation bracket. The Wildcats’ Danny Benjamin scored 21 points and hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to force OT.
Gian-Paul Anderson scored 21 for Seminole, which gave Olympia fits on Thursday.
Seminole junior Josiah Shackelford, who scored 29 points against the Titans, left Friday’s game after getting banged up in the third quarter.
By AUSTIN DAVID
Rotary Tip-Off Classic
At Winter Park High School
Winter Park 51 vs. Seminole 48
OCP 71 vs. Osceola 45
Olympia 71, Mainland 53
Fifth place, 5 p.m.
Boone vs. Winter Park
Third place, 6:30
Osceola vs Mainland
OCP vs Olympia
Unlike the night before in the National Interscholastic Basketball Conference (NIBC) Sunshine Classic, longtime Montverde coach Kevin Boyle had to watch his team scrap and claw on Friday night against another tough opponent.
In the end, the national No. 3 Eagles hung on for a 56-51 homecourt victory against Long Island Lutheran.
It was a landmark for Boyle as his 800th career win at Montverde (800-152). He has coached nine NBA first-round draft picks while winning six consensus national championships and earned multiple national coach of the year honors. MaxPreps named Boyle coach of the decade for 2010-19.
Boyle had to work on the sidelines Friday.
Long Island Lutheran had an 18-3 run and led by as much as nine before a late basket by the Eagles (3-1) cut the deficit to 30-23 at halftime. Montverde still trailed 42-41 after three quarters before turning up the defense. Cooper Flagg had three of his game-high five blocks in the final eight minutes.
Kwame Evans led the Eagles with 18 points and six rebounds.
In the first game of the NIBC Sunshine Classic. La Lumiere defeated Legacy Early College 76-65. Wisconsin recruit Gus Yaldon led the Lakers with 20 points and eight rebounds.
The event concludes Saturday with three games, including Montverde playing Legacy at 8 p.m. in an ESPN+ game.
By STEVE GORCHES
Saturday’s 10th annual Breast Cancer Awareness Classic, hosted by Oak Ridge, has 7 games.
Dr. Phillips vs. CFCA, 11 a.m.
Lake Highland Prep vs. Evans, 12:30
Wekiva vs. St. Petersburg, 2
Villages vs. Edgewater, 3:30
Tampa Catholic vs. The Rock, 5
Jones vs. Leesburg, 6:30
Oak Ridge vs Windermere, 8