NORTH BETHESDA, Md. -- Now in its fifth year, the National High School Invitational has evolved each season. On Thursday, in front of the best crowds the event has ever had, eight nationally ranked teams and more than a dozen ESPN 100 seniors competed in the quarterfinals of an elite national high school championship tournament.
Three of the players -- No. 1 seed Findlay Prep’s (Nev.) Nigel Williams-Goss and No. 2 seed Montverde Academy’s (Fla.) Kasey Hill and Dakari Johnson -- hopped on early morning flights directly from Wednesday’s McDonald’s All American Game. Sleep could be had later. There was a championship to play for, and they came with the best they could muster.
When the final buzzer sounded on a wild day of quarterfinal action that included two overtime games and a fourth-quarter comeback from the No. 1 seed, Findlay, Montverde, No. 3 seed Prime Prep (Texas) and No. 4 seed St. Benedict’s (N.J.) emerged from close calls to advance to Friday’s semifinals.
In the semifinals, Prime Prep will take on Montverde (2:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2 and WatchESPN.com) in a battle of teams loaded with Division I prospects, while Findlay will face St. Benedict’s (4:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2 and WatchESPN.com) in a clash of heady point guards between Washington recruit Williams-Goss and Syracuse-bound Tyler Ennis. The winners will play for the title on Saturday at 1 p.m. ET on ESPN and WatchESPN.com.
Here were the highlights from Thursday’s quarterfinal action: