Findlay Prep was down by eight points in the fourth quarter to Montrose Christian and they seemed to be headed for an early exit from the National High School Invitational after winning it last year. They had no answer through 30 minutes for Ishmail Wainwright who hit a monster buzzer beater to end the half, which you can view below. Thanks to Gracie Palmer and ESPNU for the media credentials by the way.
Down by eight in the fourth quarter, then they finally found their answer: Nigel Williams-Goss.
“Down eight, my mindset was just do whatever I got to do to help the team win,” Williams-Goss said. “At that point, you got nothing else to lose, so you just block everything else out and you go with whatever you have, you start to take risks, like I said just go pedal to the medal. Fortunately it worked out. We all came together and said you know this is going to be a collective effort. We had to come back together. So I wouldn’t say it was just me, I would say all five of us just keeping our composure really helped us come back from that deficit.”
With the win, Findlay Prep stretches their winning streak to 54 games and they are hoping to bring home a second consecutive NHSI title. In overtime last year, Williams-Goss hit the go ahead shot in the title game. It might take a similarly heroic effort, because the teams in this tournament are of such high quality.
“This event, seeds and records, none of that stuff matters. It’s eight teams with a new season to play for something that really matters,” Findlay head coach Todd Simon said. “I think it is as strong of a high school event that there has ever been. You talk about all those ranked teams. I can’t imagine there has been the firepower one through eight of a high school tournament. This first round… any one of those eight teams There were no long shots today. Oak Hill and Montrose as seven and eight seeds? These are all championship caliber teams.”
They certainly are; the level of play was extremely high yesterday and it should only get better as the weekend goes on. Stay tuned to Rant Sports Prep for more coverage of the National High School Invitational and you can view Findlay Prep’s press conference in full below.