Sparked by a 20-2 run to start the third quarter, the Boyd Anderson boys basketball team turned a close game into a romp and beat American Heritage 81-63 at the Nike Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Classic late Saturday night at Miramar High School.
The highly anticipated matchup between the Cobras, ranked No. 2 in 6A and No. 2 in the Miami Herald South Florida poll, and the Patriots, No. 2 in 3A and No. 3 in the Miami Herald poll, came down to a tale of two halves.
Patriots point guard Ray Taylor, who finished with a game-high 27 points, swished a three-pointer as the second quarter buzzer sounded to give American Heritage (15-4) a 36-33 lead going into halftime.
After that, it was all Boyd Anderson.
During the game-changing spurt, junior guard Martavious Irving, who led the Cobras with 23 points, hit a layup in traffic to put Boyd Anderson up 53-43. Then, 6-7 forward Ivan Aska, who finished with 15 points, banked in a shot from 15 feet to push the lead to 57-43 with 3:07 left in the period.
Patriots star guard Kenny Boynton Jr. finished with 15 points while 6-10 center Eloy Vargas added 14 points. The Cobras (17-1) got 17 points each from Bryan Bynes and Frank Gaines. Tyrone Davis had six points.
Irving attributed the victory to a second-half adjustment by Cobras coach Eugene Richardson.
“We went man-to-man in the first half and they hit a lot of three-pointers so we switched to a 3-2 zone in the third quarter to slow down their shooters,” said Irving.
“Coach told us to come out aggressive and stop their big three players, Kenny, Vargas and Taylor because they were shooting the bulk of the shots.”
Boynton came in averaging a Florida-best 35 points a game but finished with a season-low 15 points. While Boynton got his share of good looks at the basket, the Cobras never allowed the Rivals.com No. 7-ranked junior to get started on one of his patented scoring sprees.
“We wanted to make it as difficult as we could on Kenny,” said Irving. “Because he is a great offensive player, one of the best in the country. We really didn’t stop him. But we wanted to slow him down."
AH (15-4): Vargas 14, Taylor 27, Boynton 15, Chin 3, Wheeler 4.
BA (17-1): Aska 15, Irving 23, Bynes 17, Gaines 17, Davis 6, Flood 3.
Half: AH 36-33. Three-pointers: Taylor 5, Irving 1, Gaines 2, Vargas 1, Bynes 3.