RALEIGH – Ryan Bernardi is still perfect in the John Wall Holiday Invitational.
The Napa, Calif., Prolific Prep head basketball coach led his Crew to an 83-65 win in Wednesday’s T.J. Warren bracket quarterfinal of the 2022 John Wall Holiday Invitational against Concord Cannon School. Combined with his previous 6-0 record as The Burlington School head coach – and two titles – Bernardi is now 7-0 in three appearances in the Holiday Invitational.
“Outstanding talent makes a coach looks good,” Bernardi said, “and this team has a lot of talent.”
The Crew fell behind 10-2 early, but responded quickly, as Prolific Prep began to thrive in transition. A pair of the 3-pointers and highlight-worthy dunks helped turn the pendulum in favor of the Crew and senior Michael Nwoko’s forceful play inside assisted his team to a four-point lead at the end of the first quarter.
The Cougars would battle back in the following period, as junior Austin Swartz continued to hit high-difficulty shots to inch Cannon within three points at the break.
The Crew would punch first out of the break, as Prolific Prep opened up the second half with dunks on its first two possessions. But the Cougars would claw their way back and an Isaiah Henry 3-point make with the third quarter clock expiring cut Prolific Prep’s lead to two points.
Senior Trey Green heated up in the final quarter of play, as the Xavier commit found success from behind the arc to keep the Cougars’ comeback attempt at bay. Despite senior Aden Holloway fouling out midway through the fourth quarter, the Crew remained composed and prevailed.