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Findlay Prep rides Bennett in blowout, reaches national semifinals

Findlay Prep senior forward Anthony Bennett missed 19 games this season with a hamstring injury. On Thursday, he showed just how valuable he can be.

Bennett compiled 23 points and 10 rebounds in 18 minutes to guide the Pilots to a 79-44 victory over Coolidge (D.C.) in the National High School Invitational in Bethesda, Md.

Findlay Prep plays St. Benedict’s (N.J.) at 10:30 a.m. today in the semifinals on ESPN2 (Cable 31).

“We’re going to have to really defend, rebound and pound that thing inside,” coach Michael Peck said. “We’ve got to finish at the rim and do like we did tonight and get to the free-throw line.”

The 6-foot-8-inch Bennett helped Findlay Prep (30-1) dominate inside, as the Pilots shot 43 free throws and outrebounded Coolidge, 60-29. Bennett shot 14-for-17 from the line.

“We did a bang-up job defensively and really took it to them offensively,” Peck said.

Findlay Prep held Coolidge to 16-for-64 field-goal shooting (25 percent). Dominic Artis added 14 points, Winston Shepard had 12 points and nine rebounds and Brandon Ashley had 11 points and seven boards. Findlay Prep played 11 players, and none got more than 24 minutes as Peck was able to go to his bench early.

“We were able to not spend guys and play them too many minutes,” said Peck, whose team would play three games in three days if it reaches the title game. “We were able to balance out the rotation and keep guys fresh.

“That’s the luxury we have with our depth. We have multiple lineups we can throw in there with no stepping down.”

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