LaMelo Ball's 18 points helped Spire Academy (Ohio) to a 118-78 victory Our Saviour Lutheran (New York) in Benton, Kentucky, on Saturday.
With the win, Spire secured a spot in the Grind Session World Championship final, where it will take on the Prolific Prep (California)-Bella Vista Prep (Arizona) winner Sunday.
This was a game Spire controlled from the start, even with Ball being held in check. Spire jumped out to a 17-2 lead in the first two minutes and 30 seconds and proceeded to take a 19-point lead into halftime. That offensive outburst was led by 4-star recruit Rocket Watts, who put up 20 points in the first half behind the strength of six triples.
Ball was held to a relatively modest nine points in the opening 16 minutes. With the game well in hand, there was no need for the 17-year-old star to fill up the box score in the second half. In fact, he exited the game with more than five minutes to play as Spire held a 32-point lead.
Earlier in the day, Ball was named the Grind Session MVP. That honor followed up a pair of strong performances to start the tournament:
- 41 points, 11 rebounds, nine assists and seven steals in a 102-67 victory over Hillcrest North Prep (Arizona) on Thursday
- 19 points, six rebounds, five assists and seven steals in a 99-58 victory over Trinity International (Nevada) on Friday
Add another 18 points, 12 assists and seven rebounds against Our Saviour Lutheran in the semifinals. Meanwhile, Watts—a Michigan State commit—was named the player of the game for a 23-point effort that saw him knock down seven treys.
Spire will be back in action Sunday at 2:30 p.m. ET.