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Wimbley Jr., Westminster Academy dominate Miami Country Day

Lions race out to a 21-0 lead and settle for a 10 point victory

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA – Sophomore wing Dwayne Wimbley, Jr. scored a game-high 32 points to lead the Westminster Academy Lions to an 87-74 victory over the Miami Country Day Spartans in the Class 3A regional semifinals. The Lions jumped out to a 21-0 lead six minutes into the game and never looked back to set up a showdown with Riviera Prep in the regional final.

Westminster Academy's Dwayne Wimbley, Jr. was virtually unguardable, Tuesday, scoring 32 points in his team's playoff victory over Miami Country Day.

Westminster Academy's Dwayne Wimbley, Jr. was virtually unguardable, Tuesday, scoring 32 points in his team's playoff victory over Miami Country Day.

Westminster Academy’s stingy on-ball defense and ability to create points off turnovers led to a commanding 26-3 lead after eight minutes. Furthermore, all of Miami Country Day’s first quarter points came from the free-throw line as they failed to register a field goal. The Spartans’ first made basket of the game would not occur until the 6:34 mark of the second quarter on a layup by junior guard Aiden Reid.

Much of Westminster Academy’s 43-20 halftime advantage had to do with Wimbley Jr. Along with his 13 first quarter points, the 6-foot-5 prospect held leading scorer Jasai Miles (15.8 ppg) to just two first half points on a pair of free-throws. Miles’ first field goal would not come until the 6:56 mark of the third quarter. 

A combination of Wimbley Jr.’s size and athleticism matched up well with Miles on the perimeter and off the drive. His three-level scoring ability and open floor versatility was also key in helping Westminster Academy to its big early lead. Wimbley Jr. holds offers from Samford, Chicago State and Florida State.

“I thought we played with defensive intensity and to our overall gameplan,” said Westminster Academy head coach Ehren Wallhoff. “Jasai is a great shooter, and if he gets going like he did in the second half he can be dangerous. DJ did a really good job of just sucking up to him and not letting him get open looks. Alex Constanza’s length was long on some of those other guys coming in there. He got a couple of early fouls that kind of hurt him. 

Wallhoff explained that his team rode momentum when it found it.

"The reality is you play these games and you find those hot streaks and you work it. I thought our defense was the difference tonight. They have a couple of good scorers. I thought we took away some of the things they wanted to do. We did really well down there in the zone and I think they probably thought we were going to come out in a zone. In the district championship, it was one of those moments where they couldn’t make buckets even though they are a pretty good shooting team. 

"We knew we couldn’t go zone as much as we wanted to. We chose to get up in their face and hold them out. DJ did a great job, Alex did a great job on Marc. It was one of those games where you just make those stops. The biggest part about those stops was we not only made stops, but then we made turnovers that turned into buckets. That helped us get the lead and that was huge for us.”

After scoring just 20 points in the first half, Miami Country Day picked up the pace in the third quarter with 21 points. The Spartans were ignited by junior guard Herbert Wilson III, who finished with 24 points on a pair of 3-pointers. The 6-foot-4 guard’s shiftiness and ability to attack the rim gave Miami Country a late boost. The Spartans would go on to score 54 points in the half.

Miles would also heat up in the second half with three 3-pointers to finish with 15 points. Playing in his final game, the D-1 prospect holds offers from Florida Gulf Coast, Chicago State and Samford. Senior guard Marc Wendrow also chipped in with 13 points on three 3-pointers.

Westminster Academy also received a strong effort from sophomore Alexander Lloyd. The 6-foot-4 guard finished with 30 points on three 3-pointers. Lloyd, a 4-star prospect, holds offers from Florida Gulf Coast, Miami and Florida State. Senior Jaylen Carey also chipped in with nine points and six rebounds. The 6-foot-8 power forward/center also connected with Wimbley Jr. for numerous face-up assists coming from the paint to the baseline.

“It really started off with defense,” said Wimbley Jr. “We were getting stops, and when we get stops, that’s when we’re at our best. Then we get out in transition, and that’s where myself and Alex Lloyd and all the other players are best. We just starve on that. (Jaylen) always knows where I’m at. It’s like a 1-2 punch. You give it to him; he’s got to drive in or he can give it to me. Either way, it’s going to be a bucket because of how good he is.”