Five Australians faced off against each other for the 2017 US High School Championships, with La Lumiere’s Jacob Epperson, James Anderson, Daniel Goldrick and Ramon Singh defeating Montverde Academy’s Cameron Healy to clinch the title.
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La Lumiere overcame a 12-17 first quarter deficit to power away to a 70-52 win and secure the national championship. While still trailing by 1 point at half time, the Lakers outscored Montverde by 10 in the important third term to set up a final quarter blitz.
In the final, 6’11 center Epperson came off the bench to provide 4 points on 2-of-2 shooting with 3 rebounds and 1 assist, while 6’0 guard Anderson, 6’4 forward Goldrick and 6’2 guard Singh did not make an impact on court during the championships. In a losing effort, 6’3 point guard Healy connected on 3-of-9 from beyond the arc to finish with 9 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists.
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Epperson, from Melbourne, has been an integral cog in helping La Lumiere advance to the final. He had 8 points and 6 rebounds off the bench in their opening 64-52 win over Wasatch. In their semifinal match-up with Findlay Prep, La Lumiere seemingly had the game won, leading by 8 with 2 minutes to play. However Findlay stormed home. With both teams missing crucial free throws, the Lakers managed to get home 54-52 in a thrilling finish. Epperson would only add 2 points with 5 rebounds before fouling out.
Montverde won their way through to the championship game with an opening win against Shadow Mountain (74-61), followed by a commanding 72-45 demolition of Greensboro. The sharpshooting Healy from Sydney had 9 points and 4 assists against Shadow Mountain, and went scoreless with 3 assists in the big win against Greensboro.
La Lumiere was the same school attended by Kentucky’s Australian center Isaac Humphries, while Montverde Academy is the same program famously attended by Ben Simmons who enjoyed great success. It is the first US High School Championship won by an Australian since Ben Simmons with Montverde.
Epperson who had interest from a host of colleges including Marquette, West Virginia, TCU, Purdue, Pittsburgh and Illinois, has committed to Creighton for next season. Healy, the younger brother of Santa Clara guard Kai, has committed to Albany, a school with a strong recent history of luring Australian’s, including Peter Hooley who helped guide them to three straight NCAA Tournaments as America East champions.