The Virginia recruit had been splendid Thursday in the National High School Invitational quarterfinals. He hustled, he dunked, he made three-pointers.
Twenty-four hours later, the 6-foot-7 senior forward struggled in the NHSI semifinals. He missed a potential go-ahead three-pointer with eight seconds left, then his half-court shot at the buzzer was too strong and the fourth-ranked Mustangs saw their season end in a 50-47 loss to Montverde (Fla.) Academy on Friday afternoon at Georgetown Prep.
On Thursday, in a 64-48 victory over Ravenscroft of Raleigh, N.C., Anderson made 7 of 13 shots, including 4 of 9 from three-point range and scored a game-high 21 points. On Friday, though, he finished 1 of 14 from the floor (0 of 6 from three-point range) and 1 of 4 from the foul line for a season-low three points.
“It happens as a ballplayer,” Anderson said. “You have a good game, you have a bad game.”
Coach Stu Vetter quickly interrupted.
“I think 15 games good, one game bad,” Vetter said. “And he played very hard defensively. He wanted to guard their best player.”
Anderson said he switched to guarding Florida-bound junior point guard Kasey Hill at the start of the fourth quarter. That didn’t help in the stretch as Anderson battled leg cramps in the final three minutes. Hill, who scored a team-high 20 points, took advantage as he drove past Anderson, then pulled up for a short turnaround that broke a 47-47 tie with 1 minute 14 seconds left.
Montrose Christian (21-2) had battled back from a 41-29 deficit entering the fourth quarter largely on the play of senior forward Michael Carrera. But Carrera, who scored a season-high 22 points, fouled out in the final minutes. No other Mustang scored in double figures.
“Sometimes the shots don’t fall,” Anderson said. “That’s part of being a basketball player. A football player sometimes doesn’t get completions.”
Montverde (23-3) will play Findlay Prep of Henderson, Nev., in Saturday’s championship game at 2 p.m. Findlay beat St. Benedict’s of Newark, N.J., in the other semifinal, 68-55.