The Championship Game of the 37th Beach Ball Classic in Myrtle Beach between the Long Island Lutheran(NY) Crusaders and the Montverde(FL) Eagles on Saturday night at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center. The #1 ranked Eagles were led by the No.1 ranked high school player in the country, RJ Barrett who is heading to Duke to play for Coach K next year.
The Montverde Academy Eagles easily defeated the Crusaders from Long Island Lutheran 70-42 to be crowned champions of the 37th annual Beach Ball Classic.
The game got off to defensive start as both teams were feeling their way out on the offensive end. Montverde scored first with a drop-step dunk by senior forward Filip Petrusev and then moved out to a 7-0 lead before Frankie Policelli knocked down a 3-pointer from the wing for the Crusaders at the 12:43 mark.
The Eagles held onto a fairly comfortable lead most of the first half as they were paced in scoring by Petrusev (17 pts) and Barrett (9 pts). Barrett excited the crowd with 3 thunderous dunks early on, but the LUHI Crusaders fought and hung in with the Eagles until they went scoreless the last 2 minutes of the half and let Montverde run out to a 32-21 lead at the break.
Montverde ran out to a 13-3 start to the second half and never looked back. Barrett led the charge with 18 points after the break and fellow senior guard Michael Devoe chipped in 9 points.
The defense of the Eagles was really the difference in the game as the Eagles held the Crusaders to just 29% shooting from the floor. They also held a 10 rebound edge on the boards while a making 7 of 15 free throws.
Long Island Lutheran just could not keep up with the size and athleticism of the Eagles. It seemed every shot in the second half was closely contested and many shots altered whether they we taking jump shots or layups.
Congratulations to the Montverde Academy Eagles! The 2017 Beach Ball Classic Champions!!