NORTH BETHESDA, Md. -- The final high school game of the 2013 season wound up being the best game of the year. Jalyn Patterson of Montverde Academy (Fla.) made a 3-pointer with time winding down to deliver the Eagles their first National High School Invitational championship and the eventual top spot in the ESPN 25 Power Rankings.
Patterson's shot came just seconds after a Tyler Ennis corner 3-pointer gave St. Benedict’s (N.J.) a one-point edge as the game’s final minutes featured a flurry of can-you-top-this moments.
Dakari Johnson earned tournament MVP honors and punctuated an outstanding senior season with an 18-point, eight-rebound effort in the finals. The Kentucky commit and the nation’s No. 1-ranked center was an immovable object over the course of three games in the tourney.
What can you say about the Syracuse-bound Ennis? Prior to the NHSI, Ennis missed nearly a month with a bruised shoulder. In the second quarter, he ran directly into Montverde guard Kasey Hill and aggravated the injury. Visibly favoring the shoulder, he came back after the half and stroked what could have been the game-winner. He finished with 15 points in an admirable effort.
Ennis' teammate, Mike Young, a Pittsburgh pledge, battled Johnson gamely in the first half and finished with 19 points and 11 rebounds.