Onward and Upward: The Carrollwood Day Lady Patriots are mere minutes away from their crack at the MaxPreps #1 team in the nation and #2 team overall according to multiple other polls. They used a 38-6 first half to absolutely bury their opponents from Miami. The frontcourt combo of juniors Tiasia McMillan and Nabaweeyah McGill checks in at 6-0/6-2 respectively, and when you bring the 6-2 sophomore Aryana Dizon into the fold with some high IQ’s in the form of guards Tarriyona Gary, Maliyah Perry, and Jaden Harris, it’s beyond-evident as to why they are ready to dethrone the 5-time defending state champions from Dade. Question is, can they get it done? That’s easier said than done.
Know Thy Opponent: Miami Country Day’s “eyetest” doesn’t exactly invoke fear, but that’s also why teams get sucked into the Venus Fly Trap on the court. the Lady Spartans are robotic in their positioning and execution, and while they’ve got a 6-9 Jr in the middle, she’s far from the biggest obstacle. The Vanderbilt commit Koi Love is a 6-0 menace in the backcourt and in the paint. The USF commit Maria Alvarez is money from anywhere beyond the arc, and moves without the ball as well as Lionel Messi on the soccer pitch. They also don’t miss easy shots. That’s something CDS kind of did in yesterday’s performance, and leaving points on the board to this Miami Country Day spells, l-o-s-s, or even worse, d-i-s-a-s-t-e-r.
Youth Movement: The final numbers have yet to be determined, but in the 1A-5A classifications, the vibe is consistent. They’re young, and even in some cases, still in middle school. On Monday in the 1A-3A semifinals, there were 19 players who would otherwise be in middle school at this moment see over 15 minutes of game time a piece. There were even 6 starters from the middle school ranks, and in the case of Florida Prep from Melbourne, their combo of two-7th’s, two-8th’s, and a freshman are good enough to beat 98% of the teams in this state. Real talk. The teams in the 4A-6A semis were chocked full of sophomores and juniors as well, which means out of the 24 teams we’ve seen thus far, don’t be surprised if the returns to Lakeland number in the teens if not close to 20. Mark this prediction down.
Keep the Faith, you Warriors: It wasn’t meant to be on Tuesday for the young ladies from Bayshore Christian , but that doesn’t excuse us from making mention of their accomplishments–albeit belatedly–on getting to the final game of the season and finishing with a 26-2 record. Their win over a well-coached Miami Christian squad was a signature win regardless of what happened in the finals. This is the aspect of those wrapped in nothing-but-football tend to lose sight of at times. Schools like Bayshore Christian might get (unfairly) judged by what happens on the gridiron, when in fact, there are schools who are simply much better at other sports besides the “king” of them here in the Sunshine State. There are schools sans football programs that are model programs athletically for their kids in other avenues. Props to Coach Denny and her girls, and specifically to those seniors, Alexandrya Myers, Fabiana Lamongi, Domenica Zamora, Jessica Fuentes, and De’raya Saunders for setting the tone for future classes.
Shortage? Nah, the Crisis is real: This one is short and simple. If you think that the officiating is substandard in this state, then get in the car and head down to the office and sign up to be one yourself. Perhaps that will provide the proper perspective when you hear some truly vile mess come from the mouths of “adult role-models”. Maybe then we will we wake up and realize that while those folks may not be the best, they’re the best we’ve got for a reason. They’re the best we’ve got because they have the ability to block out the noise that YOU are creating. If you are going to flat-out disrespect another adult without fearing any reprehensible consequences, and doing so in front of hundreds of sets of impressionable eyes, then YOU are in fact, the problem, not the solution. Go be a ref, or stop talking about them.