Miami-Dade High Schools

Miami Country Day girls show resilience with comeback

Falling behind in a game or bouncing back from a tough loss hasn’t been an issue for the Miami Country Day girls’ basketball team this season.

The Spartans overcame both scenarios again last week.

A late score by sophomore guard Channise Lewis and a takeaway caused by guard Maria Alvarez in the closing seconds of the game lifted Miami Country Day to a 57-56 comeback win over Jacksonville Potters House Christian on Saturday night in a battle of nationally ranked teams at the Spartans’ gym.

Miami Country Day (23-2), ranked 13th by USA Today, finished its regular season with three consecutive wins, capped by Saturday’s dramatic triumph over No.5 Potters House Christian a week after losing to No.9 Fort Lauderdale Dillard.

The Spartans, whose only other loss came against Long Island Lutheran (ranked 18th nationally by MaxPreps), will begin their bid to repeat as Class 3A state champions on Wednesday, when they host either Archbishop Curley or Hialeah Educational at 7p.m. in a District 15-3A semifinal.

“We’ve got a lot of competitive people on that sideline, both players and coaches,” Miami Country Day coach Ochiel Swaby said. “Our mind-set is always that we’re good enough, and we work hard enough to win every game.”

Miami Country Day overcame a 55-45 deficit over the final two and a half minutes of the game.

Lewis’ basket with 13 seconds remaining gave Miami Country Day the lead for the first time since shortly after the Spartans relinquished an 11-point advantage in the third quarter.

Alvarez tipped the ball away on Potters House’s final possession, resulting in a turnover that allowed the Spartans to run out the clock.

Lewis finished with 18 points, eight assists and five rebounds. Ogechi Anyagaligbo had 13 points, 12 rebounds and four steals, and Kelsey Marshall had 15 points for Miami Country Day. The Spartans won in spite of a solid performance from Potters House 6-1 sophomore forward Rella Boothe, ranked 13th by ESPN among prospects for the Class of 2017.

In the final minutes, Miami Country Day’s full-court pressure caused several turnovers that propelled the comeback.

“That’s where the tough scheduling shows up,” Swaby said. “We’ve played a lot of tough games this season, so being behind late for us is not a big deal.”

MCD (23-2): Anyagaligbo 13, Berry 6, Lewis 18, Marshall 15, Alvarez 5. PHC (25-3): Norton 2, Brown 6, Martin 3, Gaines 1, Swane 7, Williams 16, Boothe 21. Half: MCD 30-19. Three-pointers: Williams 4, Brown 2, Lewis 2, Alvarez, Booth. Rebounds: Anyagaligbo 12. Assists: Lewis 8. Steals: Anyagaligbo 4.

▪ Palmer Trinity 51, Calvary Christian 49: CC (15-7): Patullo 4, Nevils 5, Hickey 8, Sieradzan 14, Bender 18. PT (18-7): Herling 9, Baiamonte 6, Forristall 2, Hebb 23, James 11. Halftime: PT 29-28. Three-pointers: Hebb 4, Baiamonte, Nevils 1. Rebounds: Waldman 5. Assists: Iglesias 6. Steals: Baiamonte 2.

▪ Late Friday — Ransom Everglades 52, La Salle 30: RE: Lopez 26, Stern 6, Oppenheim 6, Hallman 8, Ajagbe 6. LS: Alfaro 3, Lorenzo 16, de la Madriz 9, Benavides 2. Half: RE 22-11. Three Pointers: Lopez 3, Lorenzo 1, de la Madriz. Rebounds: Ajagbe 11. Steals: Ajagbe 4. Assists: Lopez 6.

BOYS’ BASKETBALL

▪ Liberty Christian 71, Miami Beach 63: Facing a 7-6 center who has signed a scholarship offer from UCF is not usually considered a good time.

But when you are 7-1 Miami Beach sophomore Zach Brown and you’re eager to test yourself against another tall center, you relish the opportunity.

“I had so much fun going up against a big guy,” Brown said.

It wasn’t all fun for Brown, however, as Miami Beach lost to Tavares Liberty Christian at Zion Lutheran.

But Brown, the nation’s top center in the Class of 2017, according to ESPN, won the individual matchup against 7-6 Tacko Fall.

Brown had 24 points, eight rebounds and five blocks. He made 11 of 18 shots from the field and went 2 of 5 from the free-throw line.

Fall had 19 points, 15 rebounds and seven blocks. He made 8 of 10 shots from the field and was 3 of 5 on free throws.

Many of Fall’s points came when Brown left his man to help on defense. Conversely, many of Brown’s baskets were straight up on Fall.

Each center had four dunks and each was charged with five turnovers.

The deeper story beyond the numbers was that Brown had 19 points in the first half, taking Fall off the dribble repeatedly.

“That kind of surprised me because I played him in the summer, and he didn’t have that,” Fall said of Brown. “I wasn’t ready for that.

“But in the second half, I adapted.”

Indeed, Brown, who has yet to choose a college, was held to five points in the second half, including zero in the fourth quarter. Part of that was that Liberty Christian double-teamed Brown in the low post, starting with the second quarter.

“His coaches, they had people coming out and helping in the second half,” said Brown, who played all 32 minutes, showing impressive stamina. “That made it tougher.”

And if you ever wondered what two rival 7-footers talk about after meeting on the court, now you know:

“You’re tall,” Fall told Brown.

“No,” Brown countered. “You’re tall.”

They were both right.

Walter Villa

MB: Brown 24, Rolle 14, Valderrama 2, M. Melendez 13, Galo 8, Johnson 3, Yao 1. LC: Fall 19, Peric 2, Corcoran 6, Moreno 9, Dubak 12, Badji 10, Kayouloud 2, Zotchi 11. Half: LC 37-30.

▪ Westwood Christian senior forward Eugene Joseph recently surpassed the 1,000-point mark for his career. Joseph, a four-year player at Westwood, has drawn interest from a few Division I programs, including FIU and Appalachian State, and is averaging 25 points and 12 rebounds this season.

▪ Miami High 68, University School 64: MIA (14-7): Young 6, Nicholas 17, Chevalier 2, Sierra 29, Butler 10, Green 4. US (12-10): Moore 15, Bonito 22, Tabatchnick 6, Acosta 19, Kaprovica 2. Three-pointers: Young 2, Nicholas 5, Moore 1, Tabatchnick 1, Acosta 2. Rebounds: Sierra 17. Steals: Nicholas 3, Butler 3. Assists: Nicholas 7, Butler 7. Half: US 28-27.

▪ American Prep 73, Boca Christian 69: AP (26-1): Black 4, Avery 15, Sawyer 23, Wilson 6, Shevelier 16, Formeza 10. BC (16-9): Carpinello 22, Pizzimenti 3, Walsh 10, Payne 3, Craven 22, Michaels 2, Erikson 7. Three-pointers: Sawyer 4, Carpinello 3, Pizzimenti, Walsh 2, Craven 4. Assist Avery 4, Formeza 7. Steals: Formeza 6 Rebounds: Wilson 8, Black 8, Chevalier 27. Blocks: 7, Half: AP 33-32.

▪ Calvary Christian 52, St. Andrews 50: CC: Chisholm 11, Adams 12, Rossello 1, Morrow 14, Ciudad-Real 6, Addeley 8. Three-pointers: Chisholm 3. Rebounds: Addeley 6, Morrow 6. Steals: Chisholm 2.

▪ Derrick Brooks Shootout — Pace 88, Chamberlain 76: MP (16-8): Fisher 29, del Castillo 20, S. Jean 16, King 5, Sainvil 4, Clethen 4, Brunson 4, Bastian 2, A. Jean 2, Paula 2. Three-pointers: del Castillo 4, Fisher 2, King 1. Rebounds: del Castillo 7. Assists: Fisher 5. Steals: S. Jean 6.

▪ Columbus 60, Southwest 43: COL: Rodriguez 12, Vitiello 12, Jattin 8, Mas 6, Byrne 4, Fernandez 4, Enjamio 3, Fongon 3, Elias 2, Muina 2, Sosa 2, Vanzant 2. Three-pointers: Mas 2, Vitiello 2, Byrne 1, Enjamio 1. SW: Aloma 14, Rodriguez 13, Espinoza 7, Trimbet 5, Dominguez 2, Pratt 2.

▪ Late Friday — Hialeah Educational Academy 67, Hollywood Christian 36: HEA: Torres 18, Rotger 4, Carrera 7, Paris 1, Duarte 2, Castro 4, St. Clair 19, Lara 10, Bruno 2. HC: Salom 9, Neely 3, Ivey 4, Green 3, Pierce 9, Momperus 6, King 2. Half: 47-19 HEA. Three-pointers: Torres 2, Lara 2, Carrera 1, Pierce 3, Green 1, Neely 1. Rebounds: St. Clair 9. Blocks: St. Clair 2. Steals: Lara 4, Castro 3. Assists: Lara 6.

▪ Late Friday — Sagemont 79, Archbishop McCarthy 55: AM: Salgado 6, Moyà 12, Talbot 11, Diaz 9, Barreras 2, Scott 6, Messer 9. SAGE: Evans 17, gustado 4, jurko 10, bristian 9, deferia 3, poley 13, Ali 19, Williams 2, Saunders 2. Half: SAGE 33-20. Three pointers: Salgado 2, Moya 2, Talbot 1, Diaz 1, Messer 3. Rebounds: Scott 10.

BOYS’ SOCCER

▪ Late Friday — District 16-3A final: Doral Academy 4, Jackson 0: DA 21-1-0.

MONDAY’S SCHEDULE

BOYS’ BASKETBALL

GMAC quarterfinals at Norland: Central vs. Miami High, 6; South Miami vs. Norland, 7:30; at American: Booker T. vs. Miami Beach, 6; Southridge vs. American, 7:30

GIRLS’ BASKETBALL

District 11-8A opening round at Taravella: Coral Glades vs. Douglas, 7

District 15-8A quarterfinal: Braddock at Coral Gables, 5

District 16-8A quarterfinals at Palmetto: Coral Reef vs. Palmetto, 5; Sunset vs. Varela, 7

District 15-3A quarterfinal at Miami Country Day: Sagemont vs. Doctors Charter, 5

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