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It’s not every day that one gets to go head-to-head with the number one team in the nation; but Saturday, Jan. 12, was the boys basketball team’s day to shock the nation.

The team played the Montverde Academy Eagles (17-0) in the “Showdown in O-town,” organized by Orlando Hoops, held at Orlando Christian Preparatory.  The Eagles played without their University of Florida signee Kasey Hill due to a hamstring injury in the first half of their game against Oldsmar Christian on Jan. 10.

With the absence of Hill the Braves were still competing against top players in the nation with two Division I signees: Dakari Johnson (Kentucky) and Devin Williams (West Virginia).

With a shaky start, senior Robert Irwin knocked down a contested three-pointer to get the Braves on the board. In an all-out dogfight the first quarter ended with the Braves trailing 13-17.

As the team struggled with the 2-3 zone defense, Montverde connected on three three-pointers which lead to a Boone timeout with 4:28 left in the first half.

At the end of the first half, the Braves were trailing by 18, there biggest deficit of the game.

After halftime, the tide turned and the Eagles went scoreless for close to four minutes, causing them to take a timeout, as the Braves cut the deficit to a 13 point game. Senior Robert Rimmer had a pair of blocks to end the third quarter and held opponent Montverde to nine points.

In the fourth, it was junior Barry Taylor Jr. who converted a three-point play to start the quarter and ended the game shooting 42 percent from the field.

The Braves outscored the Eagles 29-21 in the second half, but could not get the job done, ending the game 51-61.

Stanford signee Rimmer finished with 14 points, 16 rebounds and 6 blocked shots, shooting 75 percent from the charity stripe.

The Braves next game will be in the Wayne Rickman Gymnasium against district opponent Dr. Phillips on Jan. 17, at 7:30 p.m.

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