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December 6, 2020 --
It's been seven years since the OCP varsity boys basketball team lifted the championship trophy of the prestigious Winter Park Rotary Tip Off Classic. After a disappointing loss in the semifinals a year ago, this year's Warriors were explosive, dominant and suffocating in three games as they claimed the program's third Rotary championship.
Playing against the Edgewater Eagles in the championship game marked the third Metro Conference (OCPS) team the Warriors faced over the four days of the tournament. OCP's length and inside presence on defense held the Eagles to 12 points in the first half on their way to a 59-22 victory.
OCP (4-0) defeated Boone 67-51 in the opening round, and West Orange 76-50 in the semifinals.
Junior forward Ven-Allen Lubin led the scoring with 14 points and 12 rebounds, and senior guard Omar Figueroa added 13. There were additional solid contributions on both ends of the floor throughout the contest by several players, including junior A.J. Brown, senior Ocypher Owens and sophomore Jayden Hastings.
“Any time you can win the Rotary you have to fell good about that,” said Warriors coach Treig Burke to the Orlando Sentinel. “Edgewater guarded us well tonight. We said at halftime we wanted our guys to take good shots and go to the glass. We want to get second chance opportunities on the backboard.”
Brown, who scored 24 points on 9-14 shooting against Boone, then followed that with 21 pts, 8 reb,, 4 steals and 2 blocks against West Orange, was named the tournament's MVP. Lubin and Figueroa joined Brown on the All-Tournament team.
Brown joined the star-studded list of tournament MVPs that includes OCP alums Adonys Henriquez (2013) and Tyshawn Patterson (2008), as well as former local high school legends and NBA stars such as Vince Carter (Mainland, '83 and '84), Damien Wilkens (Dr. Phillips, '98 and '99), Darius Washington (Edgewater, '01-'03), Nick Calathes (Lake Howell, '05 and '06), Austin Rivers (Winter Park, 2010), and Joel Berry (Lk Highland Prep '11 and '12).
The next matchups for the Warriors are a pair of home games against Lake Gibson on Tuesday December 8, 7:30 pm and Bishop Snyder on Friday December 11, 7:30 pm.