QUEENS, NEW YORK- After coming back from a 16-point deficit in the semifinals victory over Montverde, IMG Academy had the confidence it needed to take on top-ranked La Lumiere in the GEICO National Championship game on Saturday.
IMG dominated the Lakers from the start, getting easy buckets in transition and keeping La Lumiere out of rhythm on offense to win the national title 65-55.
“The school is superior in golf, football and tennis, but we are the first to win a national championship,” IMG power forward Jeremiah Robinson-Earl said. “This is awesome.”
Earl, who had the game-winning dunk against Montverde, finished with 18 points, seven rebounds and six assists. The Villanova commit was named GEICO Nationals’ MVP.
Green, an Arizona commit, tallied 19 points on 7-12 shooting. Junior Jaden Springer added 12 points, five rebounds and seven assists. North Carolina commit Armando Bacot added six points and eight rebounds.
“IMG is religiously a football school,” Bacot said. “I feel like as soon as Coach [Sean Mcaloon] came in, he changed the culture and basketball is on top right now.”
IMG was efficient offensively, shooting 51 percent from the floor and went 7-15 from deep. IMG was moving the ball well, as the team registered 15 assists.
IMG managed to out rebound La Lumiere 29-27, while recording seven blocks and three steals.
“We had to limit [La Lumiere’s] offensive rebounds,” Mcaloon said. “They are an amazing offensive rebounding team and we had to stay in as a group.”
La Lumiere struggled on offense, as the Lakers shot 41 percent from the floor and went 4-21 from the three-point line. Washington commit Isaiah Stewart had 14 points, seven rebounds and two blocks. Senior forward and Kentucky commit Keion Brooks tallied 15 points and five rebounds.
IMG never allowed La Lumiere to take the lead throughout the game.