Class 6A Season Preview: Part 2

High School
Florida

Posted On: 11/20/18 3:53 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 1Part 2

Class 6A Preview: Part 1

Here is a look at Class 6A and a preview of districts 9-16.

2017-18 state champion: Leesburg

2017-18 state runner-up: Rickards

Class 6A-District 9

2017-18 winner: Jesuit (22-7) continues to be one of the steadiest programs in the Tampa Bay area. The Tigers beat Robinson 54-41 in the district title before losing to state semifinalist Booker in the region semifinal, 71-65.

Teams to watch: Jesuit, Jefferson, Robinson

Other teams in the district: Spoto, Middleton 

Predicted district champion: Jesuit

-Never pick against Jesuit. Coached by Neal Goldman for many years now have a system in place that frustrates opponents and keeps games low scoring. 2019 forwards Jack Cooper and Andrew Dansoh and 2019 guard Alex Orr and 2021 guard Ryan Wier will be the leaders for this new look group.

Written by Jake Perper

Class 6A-District 10

2017-18 winner: Booker (29-3) slipped past Lake Wales 75-70 to win the district. The Tornadoes used a strong push to nearly dethrone eventual champion Leesburg in the state semifinal losing in the final seconds 62-61.

Teams to watch: Booker, Sebring, Lake Wales

Other teams in the district: DeSoto County, Hardee

Predicted district champion: Booker

-Booker is a deep and athletic group led by 2019 6’5″ guard Johnnie Williams IV (Arkansas State, FGCU, Southeastern Louisiana offers). The Tornadoes also feature underrated slashing 2019 6’3″ forward Jordan Clark. 2019 6’3″ guard Hudson Gough is a 3-point specialist, 2021 6’4″ guard Curtis Butler Jr. is an emerging talent and 2021 5’11” guard King Winkfield is a pure athlete. This Booker team is poised for a state run.

Written by Jake Perper

Class 6A-District 11

2017-18 winner: Gibbs (21-6) beat Bayshore to take the district crown 73-51. But Mariner defeated the Gladiators in the region quarterfinal 55-50 to end their season.

Teams to watch: Lakewood, Gibbs, Bayshore

Other teams in the district: Dunedin, Southeast, Tarpon Springs

Predicted district champion: Gibbs

-This district should come down to Gibbs and Lakewood, two rivals who always play each other close. With 2018 grad David Pierce now on Coastal Carolina, the matchup is a little evener. 2020 guard Tre Gilliam (24.9 PPG) will continue to carry the brunt of the load for Gibbs. 2019 guard Deonnte Brooks (9.4 PPG) will be a major factor as well. Lakewood features a dynamic trio in 2019 guard Jalen White (12.2 PPG), 2021 forward Oteman Delancey (10.2 PPG) and 2020 forward Jamille Reynolds (9.3 PPG).

Class 6A-District 12

2017-18 winner: Mariner (21-9) beat Immokalee 52-46 in the district championship. The Tritons were close to another state tournament trip, falling to Booker 44-42 in the region final.

Teams to watch: Mariner, Immokalee

Other teams in the district: Lely, Cypress Lake

Predicted district champion: Immokalee

-Going back and forth between Mariner and Immokalee, I have to give the Indians a slight edge simply because of the upperclassmen group they have in place. 2019 guard Izayel Louis Pierre (13.5 PPG), 2019 guard Jodeci Chappa (10.7 PPG) and 2020 guard Obny Marquavien Saint Jean (7.4 PPG). Mariner lost its top returning scorer in 2019 point guard Dakota Deverteuil who transferred to Illinois Ottawa Township.

Written by Jake Perper

6A-District 13

2017-18 winner: Leesburg (30-1) only lost to SIAA’s West Oaks 79-70, going undefeated in FHSAA play and winning it all against Rickards in the state championship 71-62 to capture its second straight title.

Teams to watch: Leesburg, Bishop Moore, Poinciana

Other teams in the district: Tavares, Eustis

Predicted district champion: Bishop Moore

-Leesburg graduated 2018 guards Cordrayius Graham (Limestone College) and Keon Ellis (Florida Southwestern), but return 2019 Lousiana Tech signee Lance Erving and 2019 forward Deshawn Benton. However, that likely won’t be enough against a very well kept Bishop Moore squad led by 2019 sharpshooter and Wofford signee Hunter Cattoor. This matchup is much more even now. Other players to watch in the district, Poinciana – 2020 6’6″ forward Jahsean Corbett and 2022 6’8″ forward Isaiah Hernandez, Eustis – 2020 6’5″ guard Ricardo Wright and 2020 6’2″ guard Bradley Douglas.

Written by Jake Perper 

Class 6A-District 14

2017-18 winner: Rockledge (25-4) took home the district behind the transfer of 2018 guard and current USC starter Elijah Weaver. The Raiders beat Satellite 68-49. Rockledge made it to the region semifinal before losing to Leesburg 82-57.

Teams to watch: Rockledge, Titusville, Palm Bay

Other teams in the district: Space Coast, Satellite, Merritt Island

Predicted district champion: Rockledge

-Despite the changes with Weaver going to college, Rockledge still has talent in place with 2019 starters, guard DJ Richardson and forward Stephen Merritt. 

Written by Jake Perper

Class 6A-District 15

2017-18 winner: Suncoast ran past Port St. Lucie, 59-48, to claim the district title. The Chargers were eliminated by Stranahan, 67-63, in the regional semifinals.

Teams to watch: Suncoast, Port St. Lucie

Other teams in the district: Lincoln Park, Fort Pierce Westwood

Predicted district champion: Suncoast

– All signs point to Suncoast. The Chargers should dominate with four starters returning, including 6-6 senior Maximus Fulton-Durant and 5-11 junior playmaker Samuel Rolle. Coach Jason Powell calls Rolle “one of the purest point guards in the state of Florida.” 6-5 Makye Boles is a talented sophomore.

Written by Pat Lammer

Class 6A-District 16

2017-18 winner: Stranahan rolled past American Heritage-Plantation, 75-57, to claim the district title. The Dragons were within one victory of making state but lost to eventual 6A state champion Leesburg, 77-43.

Teams to watch: Stranahan, Heritage-Plantation, Pompano Beach

Other teams in the district: Archbishop McCarthy, Hallandale, Coconut Creek

Predicted district champion: Stranahan

– Stranahan returns four starters — all juniors — off of a 20-win, 6A regional-finalist squad. Only Cyrus Nance is gone … and the senior is now at American Heritage. Brian Dugazon, Dave Herard, Chayse Culpepper and Inady Legiste combine to make the Dragons a definite threat to get to Lakeland in March. 2020s Zaire Wade (Nebraska offer) and Andrew Volmar give Heritage an explosive duo to go along with Nance. Pompano Beach could surprise.

Written by Pat Lammer

Predicted state champion

-All signs point to Booker for the state champion here in Class 6A. Johnnie Williams and Jordan Clark are full of chemistry as a 2019 duo. 2021 guard Curtis Butler is a very underrated talent ready to breakout and this team gets better as the season goes on. They won a lot of close games down the stretch last year and I expect them to continue to do so in 2018. Stranahan, Palatka and Suncoast are three other very dangerous teams to keep a close eye on. — Jake Perper

-Sarasota Booker went 29-3 and lost by 1 to eventual state champion Leesburg in the state semis a year ago. Look for Booker to cut down the nets in 2018-19 behind 6-5 Johnnie Williams and 6-3 Jordan Clark. From the south, I like Stranahan to break through and make it to state. — Pat Lammer

Photo credit: Orlando Sentinel