The 2017 FHSAA boys basketball Final Four matchups kicks off on Tuesday and championship games start Wednesday at The Lakeland Center to crown nine more champions. Here’s all of the information that you need to know going into all of the games.
Class 9A (Kissimmee Osceola, South Miami, Apopka Wekiva, Wellington Community):
– Wellington SG Trent Frazier leads all scorers out of the four teams with 27.6 PPG. He’s shot 62-percent from the field in 2017. Frazier has signed with the University of Illinois. He holds the school record with 51 points in a game.
– South Miami C Latravian Glover comes in leading the way with 10.5 RPG while Ezacuras Dawson III leads the Cobras with 25.0 PPG.
– Wekiva and Osceola battled each other on Dec. 30, where the Kowboys won in overtime, 73-65.
– Osceola was the State Runner-Up in the 2014-’15 season, again under Head Coach Nathan Alexander. At just 33 years old, Alexander is the youngest coach out of the four teams.
Wekiva vs. South Miami – Fri. March 3, 4 p.m.
Osceola vs. Wellington – Fri. March 3, 6 p.m.
Class 8A (Tallahassee Lincoln, Palm Beach Lakes, Sickles, Lakewood Ranch):
– 8A contains two out of the four Bay Area teams that made it this far (the other teams being Tampa Catholic and Seffner Christian). There were no meetings between Sickles and Lakewood Ranch this season.
– 8A also contains two coaches with previous Bay Area ties. Sickles HC Renaldo Garcia graduated from Tampa Catholic while Lakewood Ranch HC Jeremy Schiller graduated from Brandon.
– Lakewood Ranch G Sam Hester has over 1,000 career points and is the all-time leading scorer in Mustang history. He is the third leading scorer on the team with 10.8 PPG.
– Palm Beach Lakes PG Lavorris Givins leads all scorers of the foursome with 17.1 PPG. Lincoln’s Dwight Wilson leads in rebounds with 11.2 per game.
Lincoln vs. Palm Beach Lakes – Fri. March 3, 12 p.m.
Sickles vs. Lakewood Ranch – Fri. March 3, 2 p.m.
Class 7A (Ocala Vanguard, Ft. Lauderdale Dillard, Orlando Edgewater, Lehigh):
– Dillard is the reigning 6A champion, moving up a classification with the recent redistricting. The Panthers will look for their seventh state title under Head Coach Darryl Burrows.
– The Lehigh Lightning have taken the fire through the season, dedicating it to the late Stef’an Strawder – a would be senior and four year letterman, who was shot and killed when leaving a teen night at a local club last July. They are currently 20-9.
– Edgewater G Anfernee Simons is the 25th best ranked player in the 2018 class according to ESPN and is scoring 25.1 PPG for the Eagles. He leads all scorers in 7A.
– Vanguard has three scorers in double digit scoring per game on the year – Charquez Clayton (15.5 PPG), Devontae Bynes (11.8 PPG), and Phillip Ortiz (10.5 PPG).
Vanguard vs. Dillard – Thurs. March 2, 3 p.m.
Edgewater vs. Lehigh – Thurs. March 2, 5 p.m.
Class 6A (Jacksonville Ribault, Leesburg, Palatka, Cape Coral Mariner):
– There are three first-year Head Coaches in this group of four, Ribault’s Claude Harold, Palatka’s Bryant Oxendine, and Mariner’s Keeth Jones.
– Jones previously coached at Lake Wales, where he combined a 168-60 record, three regional final appearances, and a state championship in 2004. He compiled a 112-82 record at Rome High School in Georgia.
– Leesburg has not lost a game since the calendar turned to 2017, riding a 14-game winning streak into the Final Four.
– Ribault’s Miles Wilson is averaging a double-double a game with 12.6 PPG and 10.5 RPG. He’s averaged 14.0 and 12.0 since the district tournament.
Ribault vs. Leesburg – Thurs. March 2, 11 a.m.
Palatka vs. Mariner – Thurs. March 2, 1 p.m.
Class 5A (Marianna, Ft. Lauderdale Calvary Christian, Villages, Tampa Catholic):
– Tampa Catholic F Kevin Knox is a McDonald’s All-American, a Jordan Brand Classic Player, a two-time Gold Medal Winner with the USA National Team, and is the all-time leading scorer in Hillsborough County. Knox is averaging 28.8 PPG. However, the Crusaders will be without Messiah Turner, who went down with injury in the regional tournament.
– The Villages G Tre Mann has a verbal offer from Florida and Memphis and is the second all-time leading scorer. He could break the mark with a solid performance in the Final Four. He’s averaging 20.0 PPG.
– Calvary Christian Academy’s Victor Uyaelunmo is another guy averaging a double-double a game with 11.0 PPG and 14.0 RPG. He signed his National Letter of Intent to the University of Southern California. Uyaelunmo will tower over others at 7’0”.
– Marianna Head Coach Matt Anderson can grab his 450th career win with a win in the Final Four.
Marianna vs. Calvary Christian, Wed. March 1, 2 p.m.
Villages vs. Tampa Catholic Wed. March 1, 4 p.m.
Class 4A (Jacksonville Providence, Miami Archbishop Carroll, Seffner Christian, Ft. Lauderdale Westminster Academy):
– Archbishop Carroll rides the hottest win streak into Lakeland, not losing a game in their last 19, and they haven’t lost a game at home since 2014. The Bulldogs are back into their second straight Final Four.
– Seffner Christian and Providence met in their final regular-season game – the Stallions won 66-53.
– Providence is searching for their third overall state championship under HC Jim Martin, it’s their sixth overall Final Four appearance.
– Providence and Westminster Academy met on Nov. 26 and lost 62-60, just one of the Stallions five losses in 2017.
Providence vs. Archbishop Carroll, Wed. March 1, 10 a.m.
Seffner Christian vs. Westminster Academy, Wed. March 1, 12 p.m.
Class 3A (Deltona Trinity Christian, Hialeah Champagnat, Orlando Christian Prep, Ft. Myers Southwest Florida Christian):
– This is the second Champagnat Catholic Lion squad to make it to the State Semi-Finals – their football squad made it to the Class 2A State Championship game against University Christian.
– Trinity Christian Academy G Amorie Archibald leads all scorers in the class with 22.1 PPG and has signed with Louisiana Tech. Southwest Florida Christian G Caleb Catto follows closely with 21.9.
– Southwest Florida Christian’s only two losses came against Ft. Myers (70-66) and Port Charlotte (60-51).
– Orlando Christian Prep is under first-year HC Treig Burke, who has lead the team to a 25-4 record in his inaugural season.
Trinity Christian vs. Champagnat – Tues. Feb. 28, 6 p.m.
Orlando Christian Prep vs. Southwest Florida Christian – Tues. Feb. 28, 8 p.m.
Class 2A (Jacksonville Temple Christian, Miami Christian, Jacksonville North Florida Educational, Melbourne Florida Prep):
– Miami Christian has seven players with over 10 PPG in 2017 and as a team, they’ve broken 100-plus points five times. The Victors manhandled St. Petersburg back in December.
– Florida Prep Academy C Mbacke Diong and C Lahat Thioune both have verbal offers from Louisville, Connecticut, Florida Gulf Coast, and Pittsburugh. Diong also has offers from UNLV, DePaul, and Purdue.
– G Donald Knight not only leads Temple Christian in scoring with 24.0 PPG, but he leads the rest of his 2A counterparts in scoring. Levi Banks averages a double-double a game for the Soldiers.
– Miami Christian HC Juan Cardona is in his first year, even so, he’s lead the Victors to a 25-2 record with their only losses coming against out-of-state teams.
Temple Christian vs. Miami Christian – Tues. Feb. 28, 2 p.m.
North Florida Educational vs. Florida Prep – Tues. Feb. 28, 4 p.m.
Class 1A (Greensboro West Gadsden, Hawthorne, Graceville, Wildwood):
– West Gadsen finds itself into another Final Four – the Panthers were the state runner-ups in 2013. Head Coach Andrew Moten just grabbed his 150th win with the school.
– This is Hawthorn’s first trip back to The Lakeland Center since 2015 when they were also a state runner-up.
West Gadsden vs. Hawthorne – Tues. Feb. 28, 10 a.m.
Graceville vs. Wildwood – Tues. Feb. 28, 12 p.m.