WINDERMERE The Rock Holiday Classic boys basketball tournament came down to the same teams in its championship game as was the case a year ago.
And while the teams were the same, the result was different.
This time, it was the host Windermere Prep Lakers who hoisted the championship trophy, pulling away from the Winter Park Wildcats (10-5) in the fourth quarter to secure a 78-64 win Dec. 30.
After a run in the third quarter brought Winter Park to within six points, the Lakers (12-1) put together a run of their own fueled by Will Seelman and the tournament's Most Valuable Player, Parker Davis, sealing the deal.
In 2014, the Wildcats took the victory — and the tournament trophy — with a 54-45 win.
"This group just figures it out — it's a very mature team," Wilson said reflecting on the difference between the two meetings.
Seelman, a junior, finished with 11 points. Seven of those points came during a pivotal stretch that saw Seelman tap in a shot to end the third quarter, something he followed by scoring the Lakers' first five points of the fourth quarter.
"Will woke up last night ... he was a huge lift last night and he was huge tonight," Wilson said.
Davis would then hit two 3-pointers to put an exclamation point on the run that Seelman started. The senior point guard finished with a team-high 18 points, while standout junior David Nickleberry ended the night with 16 points. Mitch Siegel and Xion Golding each had 12 points, meaning five Lakers ended the contest in double-digits.
The championship victory marks the second time in eight years that Windermere Prep has won its holiday tournament, which has featured a mixture of local teams and out-of-state programs.
"Before the season, we set our goals for the year and one of them was to win the Rock Holiday," Wilson said.
Contact Steven Ryzewski at [email protected].