POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Dec 23, 2012
LAST UPDATED: 3:15 a.m. HST, Dec 23, 2012
These Hoosiers hung tough, but there was no Hollywood fairy tale at the end of the 'Iolani Classic.
Instead, the nation's Goliath of a prep basketball team, No. 1-ranked Findlay Prep (Nev.), laid to rest any doubt that it deserved the ultimate prize, defeating La Lumiere (Ind.) 61-53 in the final of the tournament on Saturday night at 'Iolani School gym.
Senior Nigel Williams-Goss was Mr. Clutch, as well as the tournament's most valuable player. The 6-foot-4 point guard scored 22 points, including 11-for-12 at the foul line, to lead the Pilots. He was 9-for-10 in the crucial final quarter when Findlay turned back the Lakers, who had cut the lead to 43-40.
"It's all about hard work and preparation in the gym," said Williams-Goss, a verbal commit to Washington. "La Lumiere is a great team. Hat's off to them. They're so balanced and they have good weapons at every position."
La Lumiere was unranked coming into the tourney despite an 11-1 record.
"They're definitely a top 5 team," Williams-Goss added. "They proved it in this tournament."
The Lakers knocked off No. 6 Oak Hill in the semifinals. But for now, Findlay can celebrate its first Classic title after its first visit to the islands.
"We're going to celebrate by going home to be with our families for Christmas," Williams-Goss said. "Oh my, it's such a big win for coach (Todd Simon) in his first year."
The Lakers got 18 points from Detrick Mostella, the tourney's most outstanding player, and another 18 from point guard Jalen James. But they struggled at times to get in the same flow offensively, unlike their three earlier tourney wins. They shot 41 percent from the field (21-for-51), including just 1-for-6 from the arc.
Williams-Goss and his backcourt mates, including 6-foot-7 Braian Angola, took turns covering the Lakers' high-scoring guards.
But it was Williams-Goss, with help on the low post from Gavin Schilling (12 points, two blocks), who thrived under pressure.
"We got out-toughed. It was really physical and real handsy," Lakers coach Alan Huss said. "They were just tougher than us and (the officials) let them hand check. We had to get tougher. Number 0 (Williams-Goss) is a great player. He's the best player in high school basketball. There are guys with more talent, but he's a total player."
Findlay shot 62 percent (19-for-31) and committed 14 turnovers. The Lakers finished with eight turnovers and barely lost the battle on the boards, 20-19.
Other 'Iolani Classic scores
McKinley 40, Kahuku 32
Kapolei 46, Tsinhua 39
Kamehameha 40, Moanalua 25
Kalaheo 52, Hilo 36
Coolidge 82, 'Iolani 63
John Carroll 63, Yates 49
Oak Hill 65, Montrose 48
Walter Wong Invitational
Pearl City 62, Damien 53
University 46, Leilehua 39
St. Francis 65, Mililani 61
Saint Louis 42, Castle 24