Monday, December 09, 2013 2:26 PM
Published on: Wednesday, December 12, 2012
By Brandy L. Simms
Huntington Prep overcame a three-point halftime deficit en route to a 53-44 victory over Riverdale Baptist Saturday in the National High School Hoops Festival at DeMatha Catholic in Hyattsville.
West Virginia-based Huntington Prep is a nationally ranked team that features the nation’s top-ranked high school player — senior Andrew Wiggins, who finished with a game-high 21 points on 8-of-16 shooting from the field. He also registered 11 rebounds against the Crusaders.
“He was just terrific,” Riverdale Baptist head coach Louis Wilson said about Wiggins. “He was hard to stop. In the second half, they moved him from the perimeter to the high post area, and he went to work at the high post. We tried to make an adjustment to slow him down at the high post, but it didn’t work.”
Wiggins, a native of Canada, is being recruited by various high-major Division I college programs. He is expected to play one season in college then declare for the 2014 NBA Draft.
“There’s some pressure to it (in being the nation’s top-ranked high school player), but I just try not to let it phase me,” Wiggins said. “I just keep praising God, he blessed me with the ability and the opportunity to go to college and hopefully the next level.”
After trailing 30-27 at halftime, Wiggins helped the Express take control of the game in the second half. The 6-foot-8 small forward used his deft skills around the basket to score most of his points and create opportunities for other teammates.
“I know the first half we struggled,” Wiggins said. “I know our whole team needed to pick it up in the second half, and it kind of started with me.”
Baylor signee Dominic Woodson finished with 12 points, and Montaque Gill-Caesar scored 10 points for Huntington Prep.
Meanwhile, Riverdale Baptist was led by senior guard and George Washington recruit Nigel Johnson, who scored a team-high 19 points in the loss.
In the early going, Johnson excited the crowd with dunks and alley-oop passes as Riverdale Baptist jumped out to a 25-12 lead before the Express made a run late in the first half.