December 8, 2021

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GEICO Nationals: Field is set for high school boys and girls hoops showdown in Fort Myers

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Watch: Montverde cruises to City of Palms Classic final

Montverde Academy knocked off McEachern 99-48 on Saturday.

Adam Regan, [email protected]

The field for the 13th annual GEICO High School Basketball Nationals to be held March 31-April 3 at Suncoast Credit Union Arena in Fort Myers was announced Tuesday.

The expanded boys’ field of 10 teams features five of the top 10 ranked teams in the country, and nine of the top 25. The girls’ field includes three of the top four ranked teams in the country, with all four sitting in the top 15. All 12 games of the single-elimination tournament will be available on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU or ESPN3.

The boys’ tournament will showcase 31 ESPN ranked players, while the girls’ tournament features nine espnW ranked players. Also participating are seven McDonald’s All-Americans: Nate Bittlle (Prolific Prep), Kendall Brown (Sunrise Christian), Kennedy Chandler (Sunrise Christian), Nolan Hickman (Wasatch Academy), Moussa Diabate (IMG Academy), Caleb Houstan (Montverde Academy) and Raven Johnson (Westlake High School).

Previously: GEICO Nationals moved to Fort Myers, will crown boys and girls high school hoops national champions

The four-day tournament begins Wednesday, March 31 with two first-round games starting at 6 p.m. on ESPN3. The action continues, Thursday, April 1, with boys’ quarterfinals starting at noon on ESPNU. The girls’ semifinals begin Friday, April 2, at 10:30 a.m. on ESPNU and the boys’ semifinals begin at 2:30 p.m. on ESPN2.

The tournament culminates Saturday, April 3 with the girls’ championship at 10 a.m. on ESPN2 and the boys’ championship at noon on ESPN.

Ted Emrich and Paul Biancardi will call the boys’ tournament and Matt Schick and Aja Ellison will call the girls’ tournament.

“GEICO Nationals has become the nation’s premier high school basketball event, and by expanding the field to 10 teams, it will elevate the intensity needed to win a championship,” said Biancardi, ESPN analyst and national recruiting director. “With more nationally-ranked teams than ever before and more than 30 ESPN-ranked prospects going head to head, this year’s participants comprise the deepest field in history. The talent competing in this year’s event is elite and spread out among all classes, including the top-ranked point guard in the senior class, Kennedy Chandler, and the No. 2 overall prospect in the junior class, Jalen Duren.”

Tickets for spectators won’t be sold due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

2021 GEICO High School Basketball Nationals Schedule

Wednesday, March 31

Game 1 — Boys, La Lumiere (Ind.) vs. No. 18 Prolific Prep (Ca.), 6 p.m., ESPN3

Game 2 — Boys, No. 21 Oak Hill (Va.) vs.  No. 15 Pace Academy (Ga.),  8 p.m., ESPN3

Thursday, April 1

Game 3 — Boys, No. 12 Milton (Ga.) vs. No. 3 IMG Academy (Fla.), 12 p.m., ESPNU

Game 4 — Boys, Game 1 Winner vs. No. 2 Sunrise Christian (Kan.),  2 p.m., ESPNU

Game 5 — Boys, Game 2 Winner vs. No. 1 Montverde Academy (Fla.),  4 p.m., ESPNU

Game 6 — Boys, No. 10 Wasatch Academy vs. No. 4 AZ Compass Prep,  6 p.m., ESPNU

Friday, April 2

Girls, No. 4 Paul VI (Va.) vs. No. 3 Lake Highland Prep (Fla.), 10:30 a.m., ESPNU

Girls, No. 15 Fremont (Utah) vs. No. 2 Westlake (Ga.),  12:30 p.m., ESPNU

Boys, Game 3 Winner vs. Game 4 Winner,  2:30 p.m., ESPN2

Boys, Game 5 vs. Game 6 Winner,  4:30 p.m, ESPN2

Saturday, April 3

Girls Final, 10 a.m., ESPN2

Boys Final, 12 p.m., ESPN

2021 GEICO High School Basketball Nationals Participating Boys Teams:

Boys team rankings are per ESPN High School Top 25

Boys player rankings are per the ESPN 100 (class of 2021), ESPN 60 (class of 2022) and ESPN 25 (class of 2023)

No. 1 Montverde Academy (Fla.) 20-1

Tournament History: 10th appearance: Champion in 2013, 2014, 2015 & 2018 (Runner-up in 2010, 2012 & 2017)

Coach: Kevin Boyle

ESPN Ranked Players: No. 7 Caleb Houstan (Michigan), No. 23 Langston Love (Baylor); No. 2 Jr. Jalen Duran, No. 6 Jr. Dariq Whitehead, No. 22 Jr. Jalen Hood-Schifino, No. 38 Jr. Justice Williams, No. 50 Jr. Malik Reneau; No. 20 So. Sam Walters

No. 2 Sunrise Christian Academy (Kan.) 19-2

Tournament History: Second appearance

Coach: Luke Barnwell

ESPN Ranked Players: No. 10 Kennedy Chandler (Tennessee), No. 20 Kendall Brown (Baylor), No. 31 Zach Clemence (Kansas), No. 63 Jaden Akins (Michigan State); No. 21 Jr. Gradey Dick

No. 3 IMG Academy (Fla.) 20-2

Tournament History: Third appearance, Champion in 2019

Coach: Sean McAloon

ESPN Ranked Players: No. 8 Moussa Diabate (Michigan), No. 53 Tamar Bates (Texas); No. 8 Jr. Jaden Bradley, No. 9 Jr. Jarace Walker, No. 31 Jr. Eric Dailey Jr., No. 36 Jr. Jett Howard

No. 4 AZ Compass Prep (Ariz.) 27-1

Tournament History: First appearance

Coach: Ed Gibson

ESPN Ranked Players: No. 34 TyTy Washington (Creighton); No. 17 Jr. Sadraque Nganga

No. 10 Wasatch Academy (Utah) 18-6

Tournament History: Fourth appearance

Coach: Paul Peterson

ESPN Ranked Players: No. 28 Nolan Hickman (Kentucky); No. 33 Jr. Rickie Isaacs

No. 12 Milton High School (Ga.) 27-2

Tournament History: First Appearance

Coach: Allen Whitehart

ESPN Ranked Players: No. 24 So. Kanaan Carlyle

No 15 Pace Academy (Ga.) 27-1

Tournament History: First Appearance

Coach: Sharman White

ESPN Ranked Players: No. 30 Matt Cleveland (FSU)

No. 18 Prolific Prep (Calif.) 30-3

Tournament History: First appearance

Coach: Mark Phelps

ESPN Ranked Players: No. 9 Nate Bittle (Oregon); No. 19 Jr. Kamari Lands, No. Jr. 24 Adem Bona

No. 21 Oak Hill Academy (Va.) 15-8

Tournament History: 11th appearance: Champion in 2016 (Runner-up in 2009, 2011, 2014 & 2015)

Coach: Steve Smith

ESPN Ranked Players: No. 10 Jr. M.J. Rice

La Lumiere School (Ind.) 6-8

Tournament History: Eighth appearance: Champion in 2017 (Runner-up in 2016 & 2019)

Coach: Patrick Holmes

ESPN Ranked Players: No. 29 Jr. Vincent Iwuchukwu, No. 59 Jr. J.J. Starling

2021 GEICO High School Basketball Nationals Participating Girls Teams:

Girls team rankings are per the ESPNW 25 Power Rankings

Girls player rankings are per the ESPNW 100 (class of 2021), ESPNW 60 (class of 2022), ESPNW 25 (class of 2023) and espnW Watchlist (class of 2024)

No. 2 Westlake High School (Ga.) 21-0

Tournament History: Second appearance

Head coach: Hilda Hankerson

espnW Ranked Players: No. 2 Raven Johnson (South Carolina), No. 61 Brianna Turnage (Virginia Tech); No. 39 Jr. Ta’Niya Latson

No. 3 Lake Highland Prep (Fla.) 19-0

Tournament History: First appearance

Head coach: Al Honor

espnW Ranked Players: No. 75 Kayla Blackshear (Alabama): No. 11 Jr. Nyla Harris; Fr. Alexandra Blue

No. 4 Paul VI High School (Va.) 10-0

Tournament History: First appearance

Head coach: Scott Allen

Key Players: Lee Volker (Duke), Isabella Perkins

No. 15 Fremont High School (Utah) 26-0

Tournament History: Second appearance, Runner-up in 2014

Head coach: Lisa Dalebout

espnW Ranked Players: No. 74 Emma Calvert (BYU); No. 4 Jr. Timea Gardiner; No. 21 So. Maggie Mendelson

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