NORTH BETHESDA – After a quiet first half on the offensive end of the floor, Tyrone Johnson picked the right time to assert himself.
The Villanova-bound senior point guard scored 11 of his team-high 21 points in overtime to lead Montrose Christian to a 71-64 double OT win over Oak Hill Academy in the championship game of the ESPN Rise National High School Invitational at Georgetown Prep on Saturday.
“The first half, I was struggling a little bit,” said Johnson, who was named Tournament MVP. “I think I was rushing myself. I remember going into the halftime, and I was kind of down on myself, but my teammates helped me out. They said, ‘Ty, you’re going to lead us to this victory.’ Coming into the second half, my job was just to set everything up and help my teammates get in the right places at the right time and step up in the last few minutes, and I think I did that.”
The Mustangs outscored the Warriors 9-2 in the second overtime period, and Johnson sealed the victory with a pair of fouls shots with 12.4 seconds remaining.
Junior forward Michael Carrera had 20 points and 13 rebounds for Montrose, while junior guard Justin Anderson had 15 points and 11 boards. The Mustangs also got a nice contribution from junior reserve big man Kevin Larsen, who posted 10 points and nine rebounds.
Oak Hill senior and Bowie native Quinn Cook scored a game-high 25 points in his final high school game before heading off to Duke University. Junior guard Jordan Adams had 18 points.
Montrose defeated Oak Hill in double overtime in their lone regular-season meeting in January, and several Oak Hill players said Saturday’s game reminded them of that contest.
“It was Déjà vu all over again,” Adams said. “This feels like exactly the same game.”
For much of the game, it looked like the Warriors would avenge that loss the second time around.
Oak Hill led by three points in the closing seconds of the first overtime, but Anderson – who has verbally committed to Maryland – nailed a 3-pointer from the wing to tie the score at 62-62 with just over two seconds remaining.
“I must say, that’s the biggest shot of my life,” said Anderson, who was originally the second option on a play that was designed to go to sharpshooter Tyler Hubbard.
Oak Hill coach Steve Smith said that in hindsight, he wished he had fouled on the play and switched junior Damien Wilson off of Anderson in favor of senior Keith Hornsby, who he said would have forced Anderson to drive to the basket.
“You’ve got to give them credit for hanging in there,” Smith said of Montrose, “and executing and sticking with their game plan when they were down late in the game.”
The Warriors misfired from the field in the second overtime, and hurt their cause with questionable shot selection. Meanwhile the Mustangs found ways to score when they had the chance. Hubbard opened the second OT with a 3-pointer to give them the lead for good.
“They attacked our defense inside a little more than we attacked theirs,” Smith said, “and it was enough to win the game for them.”
Carrera and Johnson provided the rest of the scoring for Montrose down the stretch, with Johnson – who moved to the area from New Jersey for his senior year – providing the finishing touches.
“He’s one of the best guards in the country,” Montrose coach Stu Vetter said of Johnson. “We went to him throughout the game, and he kept control. … Teams can’t press us because he makes great decisions. He’s established himself as one of the best guards in the country, and down the stretch, the ball was in his hands, the ball was in his hands, and that’s the way we want it.”
Joining Johnson on the All-Tournament Team were Anderson, Carrera, Cook and Dwyer (Fla.) senior guard Jacoby Brissett.
OAK HILL ACADEMY
Cook 7-21 8-9 25, Hornsby 1-7 0-0 3, Adams 7-17 1-1 18, Hammons 1-3 2-3 4, Wilson 6-9 1-2 12, Gomis 1-2 0-0 2. Totals: 22-59 12-15 64.
Johnson 5-13 11-11 21, Hubbard 1-5 0-0 3, Anderson 6-11 0-0 15, Blossom 1-1 0-0 2, Carrera 7-14 6-10 20, Larsen 5-10 0-0 10. Totals: 25-56 17-21 71.
Oak Hill Academy 8 16 18 10 10 2 – 64
Montrose Christian 6 16 19 11 10 9 – 71
3-Point Goals— OH 8-28 (Cook 3-13, Hornsby 1-4, Adams 3-10, Wilson 1-1), MC 4-15 (Johnson 0-2. Hubbard 1-5, Anderson 3-7, Betancourt 0-1). Rebounds -- OH 21 (Hornsby 5) MC 54 (Carrera 13). Assists – OH 6 (Cook 4), MC 10 (Johnson 4). Turnovers – OH 9, MC 21. Total Fouls—OH 17, MC 16. Fouled Out— OH (Gomis, Cook).