Wasatch Academy Now 21-2 After Defeats by Rancho Christian and Vashon High School at Montverde Invitational
(January 28, 2019) — Entering the weekend undefeated with a 20-0 season record, the Wasatch Academy Tigers tasted defeat for the first time against national top-tier competition at the Montverde Academy Invitational Tournament (MAIT).
With a solid 85-65 win against The Villages Charter from Florida, the Tigers advanced to the Championship bracket where they played #25 Rancho Christian from California in the semifinals. After a 74-47 loss, the Tigers competed for third place against Vashon High School from Missouri where they experienced their second consecutive loss with a final score of 70-58.
This week the USA TODAY Sports #12 ranked Wasatch Academy Tigers will compete at The Bob Kirk Invitational (January 31 - February 2) in Cumberland, MD with matchups against Mercersburg Academy (PA) and #1 La Lumiere School (IN).
On February 6th, the Tigers will be matched up against #11 Sunrise Christian Academy (KS) in the showcase event at Heartland Hoops Classic held at the Heartland Events Center in Grand Island, Nebraska.
Recaps of MAIT games by The Orlando Sentinel are below.
January 26, 2019
Vashon 70, Wasatch Academy 58: Fletcher had 19 points and 7 rebounds to lead St. Louis Vashon (15-5) in the third-place game.
Sisoko had 24 points and 17 rebounds for Utah’s Wasatch Academy, which suffered its second consecutive loss in the tournament after a 21-0 start to the season.
January 25, 2019
Rancho Christian 74, Wasatch 47: Evan Mobley scored 10 of his 20 points in the first quarter to help Rancho Christian crush previously unbeaten Wasatch Academy of Utah, 74-47.
Mobley is a 7-footer listed by 247sports.com as the nation’s No. 1 junior prospect. His older brother, Isaiah, a 6-10 senior McDonald’s All-American, contributed nine of his 17 points in the second quarter as the Eagles built a 39-26 halftime lead. It was 55-35 after three quarters.
Richie Saunders scored 10 of his team-high 12 points in the fourth quarter for Wasatch (21-1).
Tristan Enaruna had 10 points — all in the first half — for the Tigers. Rancho held Wasatch standout Tre Williams to four points.
January 24, 2019
Wasatch 85, Villages 65: Mady Sissoko scored 21 points and grabbed 15 rebounds to help Wasatch Academy of Mount Pleasant, Utah, roll to victory over the Buffalo.
Mike Saunders added 20 points for the Tigers (21-0), who are ranked in the top five of several national boys basketball polls.
Villages Charter (13-4), No. 3 in MaxPreps’ Class 5A Florida rankings, was led by Florida Gators signee Tre Mann’s 26 points.
Sisssko, a 6-10 junior, used his height advantage to score seven points in a 15-3 third quarter run that allowed the Tigers to turn a 41-33 lead into a 56-36 edge.
“Coach said we have to rebound,” said Sissoko. “In the third quarter, I had an amazing time, so running and rebounding — that’s it.”
Wasatch’s Tre Williams, who signed with the University of Minnesota, scored nine of his 15 points during the first quarter as the Tigers took a 19-11 lead. Wasatch focused on Mann and he was cold in the first period — hitting just one of six shot attempts. He was 0-for-3 from 3-point range.
“My shots weren’t falling,” Mann said. “I got great looks, but my shots didn’t drop. I’m going back to the high school when we get home and get into the gym.”
Villages Charter guard Tre Mann drives against Wasatch Academy. He scored 26 points but it wasn't enough against the undefeated Tigers. (Gordon Radford / Orlando Sentinel Correspondent)
Mann rediscovered his shot in the second quarter, hitting a layup with 1:09 left in the second quarter to cut Wasatch’s lead to 28-26. But Sissko’s hook shot gave Wasatch a 33-26 lead at halftime.
Sissko and fellow 6-10 Tristan Enaruna gave the Tigers a decided height advantage. Enarun addd 14 points and eight rebounds for the Tigers.
Villages coach Colt McDowell said games like this will prepare his team for the playoffs.
“It’s one thing to tell players what we need to do and we haven’t played a team that big,” McDowell said. “We know the teams (we’ll face) where we want to get to are that big. It gives you not only film of what we need to do against that type of size, but also gives them real-life application. If I don’t do what I’m taught and rely only on my athleticism, I’ll be in trouble.”