Class 1A boys basketball state championship: Summit Christian defeats Grandview Prep 62-50
Thursday, March 03, 2011
by Jeff Greer
Joshua C. Cruey / Orlando Sentinel
Summit Christian players celebrate after their victory over Grandview Prep in a Class 1A final on Thursday, March 3.
Summit Christian's Farad Cobb talked earlier this week about critics discounting him and his team, saying that people just didn't know enough about the Saints leading up to the Class 1A state championship.
They do now.
Cobb scored 20 points and Summit Christian stifled Grandview Prep's scoring guards to cruise to a 62-50 Class 1A state title Thursday at the Lakeland Center.
It was Summit Christian's first-ever state championship, and the first all-Palm Beach County boys basketball state final since 1999 when Cardinal Newman defeated Pope John Paul II.
On Thursday, after a close first quarter, the outcome never really seemed in doubt.
"Unbelievable," said Summit Christian coach Murray Smith, who also won two state titles at Cardinal Newman, one at the matchup with Pope John in 1999. "I just thought the defense was tremendous."
Summit Christian (28-4) had a simple game plan: Challenge every Grandview Prep (27-3) shot and bully Grandview's 6-foot-9 star center Ismaila Dauda in the paint.
"Our guys carried it out to a 'T,'" Smith said.
Grandview's trio of scoring guards - Ivan Canete, Daniel Garga and Eric Mance - were 9-of-23 from the field and mustered just 21 points. They had 43 points on 15-of-30 shooting in the state semifinal Wednesday.
Grandview coach Joe Dawson said Summit made every shot a tough one. His team shot 36 percent and was 1-of-16 from three-point range.
"I got sick of some people saying that they felt like my (big men) were better because we had two, but their guards were bigger or better than our guards," said Smith, noting that Grandview was "having target practice" during its 78-65 semifinal win Wednesday. "Today, not a lot of points," he said.
Dauda scored 26 hard-earned points, as he was forced to deal with Summit's physical 6-4 forward Jean Prophete and lengthy 6-8 center Brandon Williams.
Combined, Prophete and Williams outrebounded Dauda 12-8 and frustrated him all game.
"I have to congratulate them for playing good defense," Dauda said. "Any time I got the ball and I was going to score, I had to work harder."
Cobb was the difference on offense. He took some time to get into a flow, but when he did, it contributed to a perfect stretch.
He scored seven points during Summit Christian's 15-0 second-quarter run that essentially decided the game, even with Prophete on the bench. Cobb was 5-of-10 from the field, making two three-pointers and eight foul shots.
If there was a state tournament MVP, Cobb would be the favorite. He made seven three-pointers in two state games and scored 20 points each day.
"I had a slow start but I came into the game not worried about stats," Cobb said. "I just kept playing, I didn't give up and I came through."
The victory was a chance for West Palm Beach-based Summit to settle a bit of a rivalry with Boca Raton-based Grandview Prep. Though just 30 minutes apart, the programs rarely play each other.
They're also usually ranked in the top three or four in the county. Grandview Prep was regularly slotted ahead of Summit this season.
"Well, just pick up the (Palm Beach) Post (Friday)," Smith said. "It's a great win because all year they talk about Dwyer, they talk about Grandview and they talk about Summit. Well, we just took one of them out of the equation. We'll stay, and on Sunday, if they'll let us, we'll play Dwyer."
Dwyer plays Fort Walton Beach Friday in the Class 5A state semifinals. The championship is Saturday.
"(Dwyer and Grandview Prep) are very good, but we were always ranked third. The argument (about Grandview and Summit) is over," Smith said.