Posted On: 03/2/18 5:06 PM
The FHSAA state tournament begins on Monday at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland.
Two 3A semifinals will be played on Monday before the finals take place on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. 4A will hold semifinals on Wednesday morning while the finals will be played on Thursday at 2 p.m.
Here are the state predictions for both 3A and 4A.
Semifinal – P.K. Yonge vs. Master’s Academy (10 a.m., Wednesday)
—P.K. Yonge won on a last second basket by junior guard Israel Wilcox over Providence 43-42 in the regional final. That came after an overtime regional semifinal win, 53-47 over Bishop Snyder. The Blue Wave (18-11) are led by sophomore guard Jalen Speer, senior forward William Banks IV and Wilcox
—Master’s Academy pushes the tempo and can flat out shoot behind seniors Jose Placer, Joe French and Emmanuel Hernandez. The Eagles (22-7) handled Tampa Prep in the semifinal before having to rally to beat a focused Carrollwood Day squad, 71-68 in the regional final.
Game prediction: P.K. Yonge wins
Semifinal – S.L.A.M. vs. Westminster (12 p.m., Wednesday)
—In its third year of FHSAA eligibility, S.L.A.M. (29-2) will be playing in its first state tournament. In 2015, the team made it to the regional final. Sophomore Kentron Poitier has been dynamic all season while senior Dominick Garcia and junior Issad Solano find ways to contribute. This is by far the toughest opponent S.L.A.M. has faced all season. The team’s two losses came to Central Florida Christian and Miami Christian.
—Westminster is back in the state tournament for the third straight season. Senior FGCU commit Zach Scott, juniors Chase Johnston and Sam Griffin and sophomore Dudley Blackwell have guided the Lions (22-6) to this point. There are so many dynamic athletes on Westminster and any of the four players mentioned before can turn it up at any point.
Game prediction: Westminster wins
State champion prediction: Westminster wins
Semifinal – Florida A&M vs. Orlando Christian Prep (6 p.m., Monday)
—Florida A&M will have to use long possessions to slow down the Orlando Christian Prep attack. Mount Dora Christian did just that on Wednesday night in the regional final and gave themselves a chance. Freshman A’Drelin Robinson and seniors Antoine Dawson and Marquis Davis have been sound this season for the Baby Rattlers (20-9).
—Nassir Little is headed to North Carolina this fall but right now his group is focused on the task ahead. He has been vital in the paint and as a high-end defender. Senior Buffalo commit Ronaldo Segu has paced his offense with ease for the Warriors (19-9). Orlando Christian Prep played a national level schedule to prepare for this point. Junior forward CJ Walker will be the x-factor.
Game prediction: Orlando Christian Prep wins
Semifinal – Ft. Myers Canterbury vs. Somerset Prep (8 p.m., Monday)
—The Cougars lost to First Baptist in the district final a few weeks ago but then fought for the entire night on Tuesday to beat its rival in the regional final, 39-38. Canterbury (23-8) is led by senior South Alabama commit Berrick Jeanlouis. Junior Simon Wilbur and freshman Alan Cedeno have been solid as well.
—Somerset Prep (17-8) is in the state tournament for the first time in school history. The Hurricanes are a newer program that features a group of eight juniors. They even have an 8th grader on the team. Seniors Joshua Brown and Roger Maynard are the leaders of this group. Somerset Prep beat Village and Champagnat Catholic to get here.
Game prediction: Canterbury wins
State champion prediction: Orlando Christian Prep wins