Austin Rivers ended his high school basketball career at Winter Park as a two-time Class 6A state champion on Saturday in Lakeland, Florida.
In a rematch of last year’s finale, the Wildcats won 52-44 over Dr. Phillips behind a game-high 25 points from Rivers. The Duke signee shot just 8-of-25 from the field but pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds.
Neither team shot particularly well as Winter Park (28-5) went just 4-of-20 from beyond the arc and Dr. Phillips (27-6) finished 3-of-19 from long range. The Panthers also struggled from the free throw line, going 5-of-15 on the night.
Winter Park led by six points for much of the second half before the Panthers tied the game at 34-all with five minutes to play. Dr. Phillips closed the gap when they got a layup and free throw from Shane Larkin, followed by a 3-pointer by Isaac Lane.
The Wildcats took over from there, though, as Rivers ignited an 11-0 run with a 3-pointer of his own. Three buckets from BillyDee Williams and a tip-in by Brett Comer followed to put the Wildcats on top for good at 45-34 with two-and-a-half minutes to go.
“To repeat and get another state championship with my team, that means everything to me and our community,” Rivers said afterwards. “We’re so blessed to be here.”
Rivers entered the game averaging 28.8 points and six rebounds per game. Austin Keel scored 11 points for Winter Park. Williams added seven points.
Larkin ended his career with 10 points (4-of-13 shooting), 10 rebounds and seven assists. He entered the game averaging 19 points, 6.3 rebounds and 6.4 assists and has committed to DePaul University.
Dr. Phillips got a team-high 12 points and five rebounds from Darius Andrews.