Local Sports Journal

Area high school boys basketball fans will get a chance to see eight of the top 17 nationally ranked teams play in televised games starting Thursday, April 3. 

The Dick’s Sporting Goods National Tournament will host the teams for a three-day event, played in the Father John Savage Gym in New York.

Thursday’s schedule has four games, all of which will be televised on the ESPNU network.

The winners will advance to the semifinal games set for Friday at 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Those games will be telecast on the ESPN2 network.

The championship game between the semifinal winners is scheduled for Saturday, April 5, at noon. That game will be shown on the ESPN network.

Thursday’s schedule starts at 11 a.m. That game has LaLumiere (23-2), of LaPorte, Ind., taking on Huntington Prep (27-4), of Huntington, W.Va. At 1 p.m., Oak Hill Academy (39-3), of Mouth of Wilson, Va., will play Northside Christian Academy (28-1), of Charlotte, N.C.

The third game will have Findlay College Prep (30-4), of Henderson, Nev., taking on Rainier Beach High School (28-1), of Seattle, Wash.

The fourth game will feature top-rated Montverde Academy, of Montverde, Fla., (25-0) playing The Sagemont School (34-0), of Weston, Fla. Montverde has spent a good share of the season as the top-rated team in the poll.

The March 31 Super 25 ratings by USA Today had Montverde rated first; Rainier Beach third; Northside Christian Academy fourth; Huntington Prep fifth; La Lumiere sixth; Oak Hill Academy seventh; Findlay College Prep eighth; and Sagemont 17th.

The match-ups are interesting because the Muskegon High School Big Reds held down the 20th spot for the second week in a row in the Super 25 ratings in the same poll.

The poll is in its 14th week of the season, and Muskegon is in its 13th week of being included in the ratings. The Big Reds had a 28-0 record for the best season record in school history.

Muskegon’s championship is also the school’s third boys basketball state championship since the MHSAA started its state tournament format in 1926. Muskegon’s earlier Class A state championships came in 1937 and 1927.

The Big Reds landed a spot in the second poll in early January and moved up its rating of 49th to its current spot of 20th. Muskegon spent three weeks ranked in the 40s in the poll, five weeks in the 30s, and the last five weeks included in the 20s.