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H-Prep ranked 12th in USA Today's Super 25

Jan. 22, 2014 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- Huntington Prep boys basketball had a commanding start to 2014 and is being recognized.

The Irish moved up to No. 12 in the USA Today Super 25 that was released Monday. Huntington Prep was previously ranked No. 24, but a win over then-No. 15 Prime Prep of Texas vaulted the Irish up the national leaderboard.

"The guys came back with a different mindset and it has really shown in the way we've been playing," Huntington Prep coach Rob Fulford said. "Instead of the hunted, which we were last year, now we've started hunting. The guys have a chip on their shoulder and they've been playing really good basketball with that edge about them."

Huntington Prep has a 5-0 record in January. The streak began with a win over previously-undefeated Benedictine (Va.) at the Chance Harman Classic, but the marquee win was a 68-66 win over then-No. 9 Our Savior (N.Y.) in Kentucky.

The Irish were in the national spotlight again Saturday, taking on Prime Prep in the Spalding HoopHall Classic in Springfield, Mass. Huntington Prep defeated then-No. 15 Prime Prep 52-48 as Montaque Gill-Caesar finished with 13 points and nine rebounds.

With the wins over ranked competition, Huntington Prep vaulted ahead of both Prime Prep (now No. 16) and Our Savior (now No. 17).

The rankings were released prior to Huntington Prep's Martin Luther King Day matchup with Cleveland Central Catholic, who was ranked No. 1 in Ohio Division II. The Irish jumped out to a 35-3 lead in a 78-36 win at the Flyin' To The Hoop Classic in Dayton, Ohio.

JaQuan Lyle scored 16 and had seven assists while Gill-Caesar added 15 points. Miles Bridges finished with 13 points and six rebounds and Thomas Bryant added 11 points and six rebounds.

"We played really well offensively, and we have been for the last few games," Fulford said. "The guys came out with a lot of intensity on both ends and that has translated well for us since the break. We look like a different team on the court."

Huntington Prep travels to play Saturday in the Dunk4Diabetes at Walsh University in Canton, Ohio, where they will take on Cleveland Shaker Heights.

Next week is The Huntington Invitational, a four-day event that combines local and national teams in Big Sandy Superstore Arena.

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