Posted On: 03/7/18 8:19 PM
On Wednesday, six semifinals went down in Lakeland, two apiece in Classes 4A, 5A and 6A. The finals will be played on Thursday afternoon starting at 2 p.m. with 4A.
4A: Master’s Academy 52, P.K. Yonge 48; Westminster 76, S.L.A.M. 64
Thursday’s final: Master’s vs. Westminster (2 p.m.)
5A: Trinity Catholic 55, Pensacola Catholic 54; University 83, Tampa Catholic 48
Thursday’s final: Trinity Catholic vs. University (4:30 p.m.)
6A: Rickards 55, Palatka 51; Leesburg 62, Booker 61
Thursday’s final: Rickards vs. Leesburg (7 p.m.)
Here are the top performances from Day 3 of the FHSAA state tournament.
Lance Erving (Leesburg)
Junior Leesburg guard Lance Erving was gigantic for the defending state champions. He was held in check with 12 points across the first two quarters. But he came up in a large way in the third quarter with 13 points. Erving finished the night with 28 points. His counterpart, senior forward Keon Ellis had 13 points which included a 3-pointer to put the Yellow Jackets ahead by seven points with just under two minutes left.
Vincent McCray (Rickards)
Senior guard Vincent McCray singlehandedly put Rickards in front in the second half and that was enough to hold off a scrappy Palatka team. McCray recorded 25 points which included 17 in the third quarter alone. McCray was Mr. Clutch for the Raiders as they advanced.
Sam Griffin/Zach Scott/Dudley Blackwell (Westminster)
63 of Westminster’s 76 points came from three core starters in Zach Scott, Sam Griffin and Dudley Blackwell. Scott, a senior FGCU commit led his side with 28 points along with 11 rebounds. Griffin, a junior guard posted 23 points which included 16 in the first half. As for Blackwell, the sophomore guard/forward had a triple double with 12 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists.
Vernon Carey Jr./Trey Doomes (University)
Junior forward Vernon Carey Jr. cruised to a 21-point, 12-rebound performance against Tampa Catholic. Senior West Virginia commit Trey Doomes was equally impressive with 20 points and five assists. Sophomore forward Scottie Barnes showed off his versality with a 12-point, six-assist and six-rebound game. University is so deep, lengthy and athletic. It will be hard for them to slip up in the final on Thursday.
Jose Placer/Emanuel Hernandez (Master’s)
In a battle to the wire with P.K. Yonge, Master’s Academy earned some efficient games from its seniors. Jose Placer, a senior UMBC commit finished with a team-best 16 points while fellow senior Emanuel Hernandez had 14 points of his own. Also, senior Connor Doobay pitched in with nine points. Master’s is hard to stop when it shoots this well.
Jalen Speer/William Banks (P.K. Yonge)
At times, Williams Banks took over the matchup while Jalen Speer did as well. Speer, a sophomore guard produced a 22-point performance keeping his side in the game in the second half. Banks, a senior worked inside doing damage on the way to 16 points.
Issad Solano/Kentron Poitier (S.L.A.M.)
Boy was it fun to watch Issad Solano and Kentron Poitier give everything they had against defending champion Westminster. Solano, a junior guard had 28 points and 15 rebounds for his side. Poitier, as sophomore forward, wasn’t too far off in terms of production with 13 points and 17 rebounds.
Dexter McKenzie (Pensacola Catholic)
When you talk about grittiness, it is hard not to mention Dexter McKenzie in that same sentence. The junior forward put it all on the line for the Crusaders with a 28-point performance. He netted 17 of those points in the fourth quarter alone as his group outscored Trinity Catholic by 14 points in the second half. McKenzie did all he could despite the semifinal loss.
Johnnie Williams/Jordan Clark (Booker)
The Tornadoes fell one point short in the dramatic loss to Leesburg. Booker was out of gas and couldn’t foul the defending state champions despite 13 seconds being on the clock. Junior forward Johnnie Williams led his side with 16 points while fellow junior Jordan Clark paced him with 15 points. Seniors Jaylen Jones (13 points) and Jordan Curtis (12 points) made big shots all night.
Dominic Pugh/Jarveil Gainey/Montez Leath (Trinity Catholic)
Trinity Catholic did just enough to fend off a scrappy Pensacola Catholic team. The Celtics were led by junior guard Dominic Pugh (14 points), freshman guard Jarveil Gainey (14 points) and junior guard Montez Leath (11 points). Trinity Catholic is a productive unit that can shoot very well. The Celtics will have to score in bunches to beat University in the final on Thursday.
Tim Carter (Tampa Catholic)
In his final high school game, Tampa Catholic senior Tim Carter came away as the best playmaker for the Crusaders with a 12-point outing. Sophomores Alijah Harrison (11 points) and Kobe Knox (10 points) did what they could against a dominant University program.