TAMPA, Fla.- The inaugural State Champions Invitational tipped off on Thursday afternoon, with the first matchup featuring two teams ranked in the SBLive/Sports Illustrated Power 25 - No. 16 Sidwell Friends (D.C.) vs. No. 6 Calvary Christian (Florida).
Led by a dominant effort from Taylor Hendricks, Calvary Christian ran away with a 59-37 victory. Hendricks, a Central Florida signee, racked up 24 points and 12 rebounds.
Junior guard Marvel Allen scored 13 points and Carl Cherenfant added 10 points and four rebounds for the Eagles.
Sophomore guard Caleb Williams led Sidwell Friends with 12 points on 4-of-14 shooting. Junior forward Cameron Gillus and freshman guard Jalen Rougier-Roane each finished with eight points for the Quakers.
Both teams got off to sluggish starts, as the Eagles trailed 4-2 and 6-4 for the majority of the first eight minutes. The Eagles had a 10-9 lead after the opening quarter.
The second quarter started with the Eagles going on a 5-0 run to take a six-point lead (15-9). The Quakers took a 22-21 lead with three seconds left in the half, before Carl Cherenfant knocked in a near half-court buzzer-beater to give the Eagles a 24-22 halftime lead.
Hendricks took over in the third quarter, helping the Eagles outscore the Quakers 20-9 to take a commanding 44-31 lead.
The Eagles' defense held the Quakers to just 27 percent shooting from the field, including 4-of-24 from 3-point range for the game.
Calvary Christian Academy will face Auburn (Washington) in the championship game on Saturday at 12 p.m. ET. The game will be televised nationally on ESPN2.
(All photos by Annette Wilkerson)