Friday, December 06, 2013 8:22 PM
Published on: Friday, April 05, 2013
By Brandy L. Simms
The 2013 National High School Invitational features eight basketball teams ranked in the ESPN 25 Power Rankings including top-ranked Findlay Prep, the reigning tournament champion.
However, the fifth annual event at Georgetown Prep’s Hanley Center marks a homecoming for a pair of student-athletes from Prince George’s County.
Landover’s Stan Robinson and Upper Marlboro’s Nate Britt were expected to lead their teams against elite-level competition when the tournament tipped off Thursday.
Britt and his teammates at Oak Hill Academy lost 77-71 to Montverde Academy. The North Carolina recruit transferred to the rural Virginia school last summer after a stint at Gonzaga in the District of Columbia.
“I just felt like it would better prepare me for college,” Britt said. “I have a lot of high D-1 players around me like I would have at Carolina, people that I can run with.”
Among Britt’s teammates at Oak Hill are Division I recruits Troy Williams (Indiana) and Sindarius Thornwell (South Carolina).
Meanwhile, Robinson, an Indiana recruit who plays for Nevada-based Findlay Prep, said he looked forward to coming back home to Maryland to play amongst his family and friends.
“It feels good coming back,” said Robinson, who spent three seasons at Paul VI before his transfer last summer, “[and] being able to play in front of my city.”
The Pilots tipped off at 6 p.m. Thursday against Montrose Christian in a re-match of a game played earlier this season. Findlay Prep repeated success in the 57-53 victory.
Findlay Prep defeated Montrose Christian, 40-35, at a tournament in Hawaii back in December. Robinson, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard, scored five points against the Mustangs and was named to the all-tournament team.
Robinson was familiar with Montrose Christian since the Pilots already played the Mustangs during the regular season. Findlay Prep will be seeking to capture the school’s fourth NHSI title in the five-year history of the event. Montrose Christian won the tournament title in 2011.
“We can’t have any mental lapses,” said Robinson before the game, “because they’ll capitalize on your mistakes.”
Findlay Prep faces New Jersey-based St. Benedict’s Prep at 4:30 p.m. Friday. The winner of that match will play in the finals at 1 p.m. Saturday on ESPN.