There’s already been a number of memorable performances from Final Four competition and the Class 1A, 2A, and 3A championships, leading up for more to come on Friday and Saturday. There’s been a number of high scoring players, a couple defensive battles, and one moment to secure a second straight state title all in just the previous three days. Here’s some of the most memorable:
Kevin Knox dropped 40 on The Villages…
And don’t forget his 20 rebounds either. The five-star recruit shot the lights out from three-point range on Wednesday evening, outscoring both squads in the previous Class 5A Semifinal. Knox was 7-7 from beyond the three-point arc on the evening, and he combined that with three blocks and a steal on the other side. He was in full game mode, and Tampa Catholic was able to overcome the loss of Messiah Turner to the lineup. We don’t know if they can lose to anybody at this point. The Crusaders will play Ft. Lauderdale Calvary Christian on Saturday at 10 a.m.
That’s not all, Amorie Archibald dropped 43 on Hialeah Champagnat.
We expected a big game out of Archibald, as he was Trinity Chrisitan’s leading scorer coming into the week. He dropped 43 on the Lions, who scored just nine points in the second quarter, ultimately dooming them. However, it wouldn’t be the same result on Thursday, as Archibald was limited to only 14 points (shot 5-22 from the field) as Trinity Christian was walloped by Orlando Christian Prep 78-48.
Speaking of holding guys, Palatka was held to single digit scoring in three quarters on Thursday.
The Mariner Tritons really stuck it to the Panthers, who were held to seven points in the first, six in the second, and ONE in the fourth. That’s pretty good defense. The Tritons compiled nine team blocks and ten team steals as Amari Haynes scored 21 and Brandon Kostyk added 15 on the offensive side. Palatka struggled to get anything going offensively, shooting a dismal 23-percent from the field. They also turned the ball over 16 times compared to the Tritons nine. Mariner will play Leesburg for the 6A Championship on Saturday.
You like defense? Well, that first 5A Semi was for you.
Mentioned prior, Tampa Catholic’s Kevin Knox outscored both Marianna and Calvary Christian by himself on Friday. Marianna went 5-45 on FGs while Calvary Christian shot a little better at 14-34, but both sides really struggled to get anything going. Marianna was limited to single-digit scoring quarters all game, but Victor Uyaelunmo’s 15 points and 12 rebounds ultimately made the difference for the Eagles, who will face Tampa Catholic in the 5A Final.
The 1A battles proved entertaining.
Specifically in the 1A Semifinal between Graceville and Wildwood, our only overtime game thus far in these games at the Lakeland Center. Wildwood took a 31-21 lead in to the half, but Graceville battled right back to tie the game at 56 before going into the extra period. Wildwood would end up outlasting Graceville and win 69-62, backed by 24 points from Darion Wilson and 17 from Shemar Rose. West Gadsden would defeat Wildwood the next day 64-44.
Seffner Christian’s season ends at 24-7.
Westminster Academy had three scorers in double-digits on Wednesday night as a poor shooting night for the Crusaders took part in ending their season in the 4A Semis. Seffner Christian had shot just 29-percent on field goals throughout the night, while Westminster Academy cruised to a 13-point victory over the Crusaders. The loss finished the best season for the Crusaders under the young Head Coach Sam Moorer, who at 28 has already coached his Crusaders to three straight regional tournament appearances.
It doesn’t matter if you score the most amount of points, just if you score the most important point.
That sentiment certainly echoes with Miami Christian G Neftali Alvarez who had scored just two points against Florida Prep before knocking in a game-winning three-pointer to secure the Victors’ second straight 2A Championship. Florida Prep had four guys in double-digit points, but that wouldn’t matter as Felipe Haase’s 20 was enough to keep Miami Christian in the game, and he was also credited with the final assist on Alvarez’s three. The Victors finish their season at 29-2.
Friday and Saturday’s Schedule:
Class 8A Semifinal – Friday, March 3 – Tallahassee Lincoln vs. Palm Beach Lakes, 12 p.m.
Class 8A Semifinal – Friday, March 3 – Sickles vs. Lakewood Ranch, 2 p.m.
Class 9A Semifinal – Friday, March 3 – Apopka Wekiva vs. South Miami, 4 p.m.
Class 9A Semifinal – Friday, March 3 – Kissimmee Osceola vs. Wellington, 6 p.m.
Class 4A Championship – Friday, March 3 – Jacksonville Providence vs. Ft. Lauderdale Westminster Academy, 8 p.m.
Class 5A Championship – Saturday, March 4 – Ft. Lauderdale Calvary Christian vs. Tampa Catholic, 10 a.m.
Class 6A Championship – Saturday, March 4 – Leesburg vs. Cape Coral Mariner, 12:30 p.m.
Class 7A Championship – Saturday, March 4 – Ft. Lauderdale Dillard vs. Orlando Edgewater, 3 p.m.
Class 8A Championship – Saturday, March 4 – Lincoln/Palm Beach Lakes Winner vs. Sickles/Lakewood Ranch Winner
Class 9A Championship – Saturday, March 4 – Wekiva/South Miami Winner vs. Osceola/Wellington Winner, 8 p.m.
All games can are at The Lakeland Center in Lakeland, and all games can be watched on Spectrum Sports.