Aussies Abroad: Simmons leads Montverde to High School title

Aussies Abroad: Simmons leads Montverde to High School title

Australian Boomers rising star Ben Simmons has led his Montverde Academy to the coveted Dick’s Sporting Goods High School National Tournament title on Sunday.

The 17-year-old son of NBL legend Dave Simmons led the Florida school to the tournament championship, defeating the famed Oak Hill Academy 71-62 in the final, with Simmons capping off a brilliant week by winning the Tournament MVP.

It was a solid performance in the final from Simmons, posting 24 points, 12 rebounds and 5 assists as the Montverde further enhanced their reputation as one of the top high school teams in the USA.

The tournament win – played at Madison Square Garden, the home of the New York Knicks – has many experts calling for Montverde (currently ranked #2) to be considered national champions after their convincing display against the #10 Oak Hill outfit.

Simmons finished the tournament averaging 20 points and 12 rebounds per game, as the Eagles extended their current winning streak to 34 games.

Still in the USA, Boomers star Patty Mills led the San Antonio Spurs with 21 points, but it wasn’t enough to stop the Oklahoma City Thunder bringing an end to their 19-game winning streak on Friday.

It was an elite shooting display from Mills, who had 8-of-13 from the field and 5-of-7 from beyond the arc to go with 6 rebounds in 24 minutes. It has been a productive fortnight for the 25-year-old, averaging 13.6 points at 59% shooting over the past seven games.

Andrew Bogut marked his return to the NBA court after a groin injury, posting 6 points and 11 rebounds in 23 minutes as the Golden State Warriors easily accounted for the Utah Jazz 130-102 on Monday.

There were big numbers but mixed results for Australians in Europe over the weekend, with Cayla Francis and her Nantes team moving above .500 for the first time this season in the French LFB competition.

After a 1-6 start to the season, Nantes have improved vastly, with Francis posting 18 points, 9 rebounds and 2 blocks in the 57-50 win over Mondeville on Sunday.

Fellow Jayco Australian Opal Belinda Snell sits on the verge of elimination from the Polish BLK post-season after her CCC Polkowice suffered a 70-65 loss to Artego BYDG on Sunday. Snell had 15 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists, but the loss sees her team trial 2-1 in the best-of-five series.

Australian Boomers swingman Brad Newley had 14 points and 3 rebounds in 28 minutes for Gran Canaria, but could not stop his team from slumping to a third-straight Liga Endesa defeat in Spain – 86-81 to Valencia.

Despite a heavy defeat Aleks Maric and his Lokomotiv Kuban remain in the hunt for a Euroleague quarter final berth. The Russian team were convincingly beaten by Real Madrid 81-55 on Saturday, with Maric posting 12 points and 7 rebounds in 19 minutes.

The loss leaves Kuban needing to win their final Top 16 game against Bayern Munich this week to advance.

Jayco Opals forward Abby Bishop had 16 points and 6 rebounds as PEAC Pecs defeated Uni Gyor 73-64 on Sunday to stay second in the Hungarian league standings.