Class 5A Season Preview: Part 2

High School
Florida

Posted On: 11/19/18 4:39 PM

Preseason classics are underway and the regular season officially begins on November 26.

We will bring you previews on all nine classes in the state of Florida and the independent conferences.

ICYMI: 

The SIAA Preview

Class 1A Preview

Class 2A Preview

Class 3A Preview

Class 4A Preview

Class 5A Preview: Part 1

Here is a look at Class 5A and a preview of districts 9-16.

2017-18 state champion: University

2017-18 state runner-up: Trinity Catholic

Class 5A-District 9

2017-18 winner: Tampa Catholic (26-6) beat Berkeley Prep 64-46 in the district final. The Crusaders triumphed all the way to the state semifinal before running into the powerhouse that is University.

Teams to watch: Tampa Catholic, Berkeley Prep, Brooks DeBartolo, Clearwater Central Catholic

Other teams in the district: Cardinal Mooney, Sarasota Military, Cypress Creek

Predicted district champion: Tampa Catholic

–The trio of 2020 starters, guard Kobe Knox and forwards Alijah Harrison and Isaiah Elmore play well together for Tampa Catholic. Add in the transfer of 2020 forward Johni Broome from Plant City and the athleticness of 2020 guards Marcellus Crutchfield and Diontray Manuel and 2021 guard Ahmad Edmonds and the Crusaders continue to have athletes on their side. Berkeley Prep will give Tampa Catholic a run for its money with 2019 Western Michigan commit Chase Barrs, 2020 guard Ronnie Williams and 2020 guard Kegan Karnes and 2021 guard RJ Garcia.

Written by Jake Perper

Class 5A-District 10

2017-18 winner: Oasis claimed the district with a 71-60 win over Naples Community School. The Sharks finished 23-6 beating Berkeley Prep in the region quarterfinal and losing to Tampa Catholic in the region semifinal.

Teams to watch: Community School, Bishop Verot, Oasis

Other teams in the district: Clewiston, LaBelle, St. John Neumann, Gateway Charter

Predicted district champion: Oasis

-Oasis took over the reins last season but Community School (2019 guards Parker Weiss and Jacob Siegel) and Bishop Verot (2019 guard Andrew Shepherd and 2020 forward Israel Torres) should have a say in how this sorts out. The Sharks have earned my faith in largely because of their crafty 2019 guard Taylon Hutchins (16.2 PPG, 7.4 APG). He opens so much for his side that also includes 2019 guard Kylar Frias (11.2 PPG),  2019 guard Vladimir Dorlys (10.7 PPG) and 2020 guard Kyle Bethel (9.4 PPG).

Written by Jake Perper

Class 5A-District 11

2017-18 winner: Oxbridge Academy defeated Inlet Grove, 61-49, for the district crown. The ThunderWolves advanced to the regional finals before falling to Tampa Catholic, 68-63.

Teams to watch: Oxbridge, Cardinal Newman, Somerset Canyons

Other teams in the district: Glades Central, Inlet Grove, King’s Academy

Predicted district champion: Oxbridge

– The ThunderWolves are coming off a 20-win season under coach Brandon Strassburger and I like Oxbridge to defend its district title. Oxbridge returns two of the top prospects in Palm Beach County in 6-6 senior wing Dante Wilcox (FIU signee) and 6-0 senior point guard A.J. Cajuste. Cardinal Newman returns four starters and nine players from a squad that finished over .500. Cardinal Newman 6-8 senior Emmanuel Onuama is a walking double-double (15.9P/10.5R). Talented Boca Raton guard Maxime Demeus transferred to Somerset Canyons.

Written by Pat Lammer

Class 5A-District 12

2017-18 winner: Coral Springs Charter took down Boca St. John Paul II, 48-40, in the district championship. The Panthers were ousted by Oxbridge Academy in the regional semis, 53-38.

Teams to watch: Coral Springs Charter, St. Andrew’s, North Broward Prep

Other teams in the district: St. John Paul II, FAU, American Heritage-Delray

Predicted district champion: Coral Springs Charter

– Coral Springs Charter, under Lamar Twitty, won 20 games a season ago and returns four starters. 2020 6-4 combo guard Ivan Reynolds has offers from FAU and North Florida, while 6-6 2020 Ian Tajalli has a Navy offer. St. Andrew’s junior big (6-9) Yussif Basa-Ama (West Virginia interest) and North Broward Prep 2020 point guard Dominick Denny have district Player of the Year potential. St. John Paul has a new coach in Scott Williams and lost juniors Kirt Bromley (Dillard) and Jaquone Gatling (Delray Atlantic) to transfer.

Written by Pat Lammer

Class 5A-District 13

2017-18 winner: Davie University School overpowered Fort Lauderdale Calvary Christian, 61-39, to win the district championship and then took the Eagles out for good, 59-38, in the regional semifinals en route to winning the Class 5A state championship.

Teams to watch: University School, Calvary Christian, Chaminade-Madonna, Somerset Pines

Other teams in the district: Cardinal Gibbons, Pine Crest

Predicted district champion: University School

– University School is coming off a 33-2 season in which the Sharks romped to the 5A state title and then went to GEICO Nationals and placed runner-up to national-No. 1 Montverde Academy. U-School returns its top two stars (and has added Roger McFarlane, David Perez and Jace and Jett Howard) in what is most likely the toughest district in the state. Calvary Christian has one of the top freshmen in Gregg Glenn. The Eagles have played in district title game three years running. Georgia 2019 recruit Toumani Camara headlines the Chaminade program. And a young Somerset Pines squad added 2020 Division I prospects Dudley Blackwell (from Westminster Academy) and Brandon Garcia (Cypress Bay).

Written by Pat Lammer

Class 5A-District 14

2017-18 winner: Hialeah Mater Lakes took down Monsignor Pace, 104-94, for the district championship. Mater Lakes would then stumble to Calvary Christian, of Fort Lauderdale, 60-50, in the regionals.

Teams to watch: Mater Lakes, Monsignor Pace

Other teams in the district: iMater, Miami Edison

Predicted district champion: Mater Lakes

– Mater Lakes won 21 games a season ago and returns senior Cyrus Largie (22.4 points a game), junior Dominic Rivera (10.3) and sophomore Julian Garcia (10.6). 2020 guard Marcus Frazier (17.3) returns for Monsignor Pace but the Spartans lost high-scoring 2020 guard Dominic Shaw to transfer (Hollywood McArthur). Pace was eliminated by University School in the regionals.

Written by Pat Lammer

Class 5A-District 15

2017-18 winner: Miami Gulliver Prep defeated Miami Booker T. Washington, 75-61, for the district crown. Booker T. got revenge, clipping Gulliver, 57-56, in the regional semifinals. BTW lost to eventual state champion Davie University School.

Teams to watch: Gulliver Prep, Booker T. Washington

Other teams in the district: LaSalle, Ransom Everglades

Predicted district champion: Booker T. Washington

– This is an incredibly close call between Booker T. Washington and Gulliver Prep. Booker T. Washington returns its top scorers from a 19-win squad, led by Ames Dixon, Donell Harris, Chris Noel & Edward Bailey. Harris and Jacorey Brooks are impressive sophomores with major Division I football offers. Gulliver may have the top overall player in the district in 6-7 junior wing Tony Sanders (FSU, FGCU offers). The Raiders have two impressive underclassmen point guards in Gabe Taylor and Frankie Idlett. GP & coach Manny Bloom lost star guard Jamal Mashburn Jr. (Brewster Academy) and the Howard brothers (University School) to transfer.

Written by Pat Lammer

Class 5A-District 16

2017-18 winner: Westminster Christian defeated Key West, 83-71, for the district crown. Warriors lost a one-shot game to Booker T. Washington, 49-47, in regional quarterfinals.

Teams to watch: Westminster Christian, Key West

Other teams in the district: Keys Gate, Pinecrest Prep

Predicted district champion: Westminster Christian

– Westminster Christian is coming off a 20-win season, and 6-2 guard Marcus Montalvo is one of the top returning scorers in Miami-Dade County at 23 per game. 6-7 James Henderson — drawing interest from Clemson, FGCU and USF — gives the Warriors a potent 1-2 punch. Key West was the runner-up last year and went 3-0 vs. Keys Gate. Key West was eliminated by Miami Gulliver Prep, 79-75, in the regional quarters. 

Written by Pat Lammer

Predicted Class 5A champion

-With the system the FHSAA has in place it makes it awfully easy for University to win it all again this season. Vernon Carey Jr. and Scottie Barnes are No. 1 in their respective classes for a reason. Roger McFarlane, David Perez, Logan Alters (Cal commit) and the Howard brothers, Jett and Jace give the Sharks plenty to work with for the second consecutive season. — Jake Perper

-University School, led by national top-five prospects Vernon Carey Jr. (2019) and Scottie Barnes (2020), will go back-to-back in Class 5A. Last season the Sharks had a tougher road in their district than at the Boys State Basketball Tournament. Both games in Lakeland were blowouts. U-School is entered in high-profile national tournaments including the City of Palms Classic, Les Schwab Invitational and the GEICO ESPN Showcase. — Pat Lammer

Photo credit: Ocala.com

Photo credit: Miami Herald