Get ready for a clash of young titans as the IMG Academy Ascenders (4-5) take on the Archbishop Stepinac Crusaders (6-1) in the fifth-place semi-final of the City of Palms Classic. Both teams, brimming with national talent and hungry to prove themselves, will step onto the court at 2:40 PM ET today eager to salvage their tournament hopes and claim a valuable consolation prize.
How to Watch
What it is: Varsity Boys Basketball
Matchup: IMG Academy Ascenders vs. Archbishop Stepinac Crusaders
Date: Friday Dec. 22, 2023
Time: 2:40pm ET
Locations: Fort Myers, FL.
Game Details: City of Palms Classic
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IMG Academy, ranked 5th nationally and 6th in the state, entered the City of Palms with championship aspirations. However, a string of early losses, including a narrow defeat to Montverde Academy, sent them hurtling down the bracket. Today’s game presents an opportunity for the Ascenders to showcase their resilience and rediscover their championship form. Look for them to lean on the dynamic playmaking of star point guard Boogie Fland, who leads the team in scoring (20.0 ppg), assists (4.3 apg), and steals (2.5 spg).
Archbishop Stepinac, ranked 5th nationally and top in the state of New York, have steadily climbed the ranks throughout the City of Palms Classic. Despite facing a tough opening round loss to Paul VI, the Crusaders have bounced back with impressive victories, showcasing their balanced attack and suffocating defense. Today, they aim to continue their upward trajectory and secure a coveted top-five finish. Watch out for their high-scoring offense, led by a trio of talented guards averaging over 15 points per game.
The battle between IMG Academy’s high-powered offense and Archbishop Stepinac’s stingy defense will be the central theme of this game. Can Fland weave his magic against the Crusaders’ lockdown perimeter defense? Or will Stepinac’s guards shut down the Ascenders’ scoring options and force them into contested shots?
The rebounding battle will also be crucial. While IMG Academy boasts a slight size advantage, Stepinac’s hustle and determination could give them an edge on the boards. Look for Braylan Ritvo of IMG and [Player Name] of Stepinac to lead the charge on the glass.
Individual matchups between star players could swing the momentum. Can Fland carry the scoring load for IMG Academy, or will Stepinac’s balanced attack prove too much to handle?
A Consolation Prize Worth Having:
While neither team achieved their ultimate goal of winning the City of Palms Classic, a fifth-place finish would be a respectable consolation prize. Not only would it provide a much-needed boost to their confidence, but it would also serve as valuable preparation for the rest of the season. Both IMG Academy and Archbishop Stepinac are talented teams with aspirations of national championship contention. Today’s game is an opportunity to showcase their strengths, learn from their mistakes, and emerge from the City of Palms with their heads held high.
Tune in at 2:40 PM ET to witness this exciting battle for fifth place at the City of Palms Classic. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to see two rising stars in high school basketball go head-to-head on the national stage!