MILTON, Ga. — Fresh off the Class 7A boys state championship, Milton High School boys basketball showcased its talent in the national spotlight at the Geico Nationals April 1 at Suncoast Credit Union Arena in Fort Myers, Florida. The annual event, started in 2009, brings together some of the top high school basketball teams in the nation to compete for the tournament title.
Last week’s tournament featured nine boys teams from seven states.
Though Milton was eliminated from play in its opening game televised on ESPNU, the Eagles showed their mettle against IMG Academy, the No. 7 ranked program in the nation, according to MaxPreps, and winners of the 2019 GEICO Nationals.
Milton trailed 61-48 after three quarters but fought back in the final period to cut its deficit. The Eagles outscored IMG 20-12 in the fourth and came within one point late in the period, but their comeback bid fell short with IMG taking a 73-68 win.
Sophomore Kanaan Carlyle led the Eagles with 22 points and added three assists, two steals and a block. Carlyle had a critical performance last month in the Class 7A state championship game, leading the Eagles in scoring and hitting 9-11 free throws down the stretch to give Milton its 52-47 win over Berkmar.
Bruce Thornton netted 18 points and was on the brink of a double-double with nine assists. Broc Bidwell, in his final game for the Eagles, scored 12 with Kendall Campbell adding 11.
The GEICO Nationals was a memorable bookend to a standout season for the Eagles.
The team compiled a 28-2 overall record in GHSA play with 26 straight wins to close out the season and won the program’s third overall state title and fourth region title in five years.