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WINTER PARK, FLA --
Over the past 45 years, the Winter Park Rotary's Tip-Off Classic has brought together some of the best teams and talent in Central Florida come to Winter Park High School for an early season 8-team tournament. There have been outstanding performances, and games played by All-State/All-American players that went on to become future NBA stars.
On Saturday December 3, the last two champions of the Rotary Tip-Off played a triple overtime classic that might have been the best championship game in now the 46 years of the tournament behind a record-tying performance from OCP's Isaiah Brown. Olympia outlasted OCP in the 3rd stanza to win their second consecutive championship. OCP won the tournament in 2020.
Brown tied the tournament's single-game scoring mark in a championship game with 45 points. The junior guard put the crowd on notice in the first half with a sniper's shot from the perimeter and a series of crowd pleasing dunks on his way to 29 points int he first-half.
The Warriors lost to Olympia by 2 points in the semifinal last season. That loss ended OCP's 48-game winning streak over two seasons. This year OCP found themselves behind for 31 minutes of the ball game as they fought to stay close to a hot-shooting Titans team that hit 10+ 3's in the first half.
The Warriors trailed by six after the first quarter, eight at halftime and four after the third. With 1:15 to play, OCP was down 72-67. The final 75 seconds foreshadowed what three overtimes was going to look like.
Senior Sean Combs hit a three-pointer in the corner to cut the deficit to two with 1 minute to play. Then, on a sideline inbound near the OCP bench, he forced a deflection off an opponent that allowed Coach Treig Burke an opportunity to call timeout and setup another senior for a big shot.
It would be senior forward Isaiah Sutherland would give the Warriors their first lead of the ball game with 30 seconds to play as he hit a wide open three that put OCP up 73-72 thanks to some good ball movement out of the timeout.
15 seconds later, Olympia answered with a 3pt shot by their senior leader and Cincinnati recruit "Jizzle" James to reclaim the lead 75-73. Brown would commit an unforced and uncommon turnover near midcourt with 5.7 seconds, but he and his teammates answered by forcing a 5-second violation as the Titans attempted to inbound the ball.
Out of another timeout, Brown caught the ball 30-feet away from the rim with 5.7 left on the game and drove right to the rim getting fouled as he attempted to tie the game. He sank both free throws on his way to shooting 11-11 from the line in the contest, and OCP headed to the first overtime feeling more confident than any other point in the game.
The Warriors would have leads in the first and second overtime. Yet, they couldn't hold onto it as the Titans found an answer from James who made tough shots to tie the game at 80-80 in OT1 and 88-88 at the buzzer in OT2.
Junior point guard Ameer Ramadan battled through cramps in the 2nd and 3rd OT to finish with 29 points and 14-14 at the free throw line. His gutsy efforts earned him a spot on the All-tournament team. Brown's 45-point performance earned him Winter Park Rotary Tip-Off Classic Tournament MVP. His brother A.J. earned MVP honors back in OCP's 2020 championship.
Tag(s): News Varsity Boys Basketball