Findlay Prep’s boys basketball team boasts two McDonald’s All-Americans. But it was another senior standout who guided the Pilots to a victory on Thursday.
Craig Victor had 23 points and 13 rebounds to power Findlay Prep to a 67-59 win over Rainier Beach (Wash.) in the High School National Tournament quarterfinals in New York City.
The Pilots led 26-23 at halftime, but Victor scored eight points in the third quarter, including six during an 8-0 run that pushed the lead to 43-29 with 3:31 left in the third.
The Vikings (29-1) were just 1-for-18 on 3-pointers through three quarters, but finally made some shots from long range to make things interesting in the fourth quarter.
Rainier Beach, ranked No. 3 in the nation by USA Today, started the fourth quarter with an 8-2 run capped by back-to-back 3-pointers, the second by De’Juonte Murray that made the score 48-46 with 6:43 left.
No. 8 Findlay Prep (31-4) answered by getting the ball to Victor in the lane for a bucket to push the lead to four.
The Vikings had a chance to cut the lead to two again, but Dujuan Piper missed a dunk in transition with 4:36 left.
Shaqquan Aaron, who has signed with Louisville, hit a 3-pointer from the right corner with 4:11 left to cut the lead to 54-51, but UNLV-bound guard Rashad Vaughn hit two free throws to push the lead to five, and a dunk by Victor gave the Pilots some cushion.
Vaughn, a McDonald’s All-American, had 14 points, six rebounds, four assists and two blocked shots for the Pilots. The team’s other All-American, Kansas signee Kelly Oubre, had 17 points and 14 rebounds for Findlay Prep, which will play Oak Hill (Va.) in the semifinals at 11:30 a.m. Friday.
Murray scored 17 of his 19 points in the second half for Rainier Beach.
Contact prep sports editor Damon Seiters at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-380-4587. Follow him on Twitter: @DamonSeiters.