Class 9A Season Preview: Part 1

High School
Florida

Posted On: 11/24/18 11:20 AM

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 1Part 2

Class 7A Preview: Part 1, Part 2

Class 8A Preview: Part 1, Part 2

Here is a look at Class 9A and a preview of districts 1-8.

2017-18 state champion: Oak Ridge

2017-18 state runner-up: Wellington

Class 9A-District 1 

2017-18 winner: Deland went 22-7 on the year, capturing a district title along the way by virtue of a 16-point win over Sandalwood. The Bulldogs lost a heartbreaker to Seminole by one point in the regional semis. Sandalwood lost a game prior to Seminole by 27 in the regional quarterfinals.

Teams to watch: Deland, Sandalwood

Other teams in the district: Flagler Palm Coast, Mandarin, Spruce Creek

Predicted district champion: Deland

– Deland was the only team above .500 in the district last season, but it has lost its two best scorers to graduation. They’ll be led by guards Daryl Flowers & Tavian Durrett this time around, who both averaged nearly 10 points per game, last year. Unless one of the other teams can at least become average or better, look for the Deland tandem to carry the load on the way to a repeat effort.

Written by Jerome Reed

Class 9A-District 2

2017-18 winner: Seminole and Oviedo split the season series but it was the Seminoles (26-4) who took home the district and made it all the way to the region final before losing to West Orange

Teams to watch: Oviedo, Winter Springs, Seminole, Lake Mary

Other teams in the district: Lake Brantley, Lyman, University

Predicted district champion: Seminole

– Oviedo is always a sound program and with 2019 guard Aidan Knight and 2020 twins Mamush and Kayamo Galloway, the Lions will have a chance. But Seminole was tough last year and will be again with 2020 guard Oshae Baker and highly sought after 2022 twins Demari and Jacari Henderson.

Written by Jake Perper

Class 9A-District 3

2017-18 winner: Apopka beat West Orange 65-55, but it was West Orange that made the run in the playoffs. Apopka fell to Boone 42-40 in the region quarterfinal while West Orange took down University, Boone and Seminole before losing to Oak Ridge in the state semifinal.

Teams to watch: West Orange, Apopka, Wekiva

Other teams in the district: Evans

Predicted district champion: Apopka

– Apopka has the deepest group of athletes behind 2019 guard Nathan Louis, 2020 guard/forward Zachary Anderson and 2021 forward Earl Lombardi. Wekiva has 2021 forward Michael James and West Orange has 2019 forward JaMarcus Clark and 2019 guard Nigel Brown. This should be Apopka’s year with the athletes they have in place.

Written by Jake Perper

Class 9A-District 4

2017-18 winner: University beat Boone to win districts. Boone advanced farther in regional play losing to West Orange in the region semifinal.

Teams to watch: Boone, University, Winter Park

Other teams in the district: Timber Creek, Colonial, Lake Nona

Predicted district champion: Boone

-Boone was very close to taking down University a year ago and now with 2019 trio, forward Marlon Allen, guard Robert Soto and guard Matthew Kleber. Expect the Braves to hold off University and Winter Park, two teams who often contend this season.

Written by Jake Perper

Class 9A-District 5

2017-18 winner: Oak Ridge won its third straight district title with an 86-64 win over Dr. Phillips. The Pioneers then rattled off five wins in a row to take home its first ever state title over Wellington.

Teams to watch: Oak Ridge, Dr. Phillips, Cypress Creek

Other teams in the district: Freedom, Olympia

Predicted district champion: Oak Ridge

– Oak Ridge may have graduated 2018 forward Emmitt Williams (LSU) and 2018 guard Antwann Jones (Memphis), but the Pioneers still have 2019 forward CJ Walker (Oregon signee and transfer from Orlando Christian Prep), 2019 guard Niven Glover, 2019 forward Kaleb Coleman (Lipscomb signee). 2019 guard Emmanuel Adedoyin and 2019 guard Zavien Smith.  2021 guards Steven Burr and Jalen Smith are also players to watch. 2022 forward Lewis Jones will earn minutes as well.

Written by Jake Perper

Class 9A-District 6

2017-18 winner: Alonso snuck past Sarasota Riverview 65-64 in a back and forth district championship. Both teams lost in the region quarterfinal.

Teams to watch: Sarasota Riverview, Alonso

Other teams in the district: Riverview, Newsome

Predicted district champion: Sarasota Riverview

–This will be a huge opportunity for Sarasota Riverview with a very deep unit of athletes in place. 2020 guard Malachi Wideman, 2021 forward John Solomon, 2021 forward Jayven Millien, 2019 guard Tyrus Jackson and 2020 guard Zach Mobley are all threats by themselves. 2021 guard David Mazon is another prospect to watch. This Rams team is going to be a problem all season long.

Written by Jake Perper

Class 9A-District 7

2017-18 winner: Osceola finished 21-7, a year after winning the state title. This time around, the Kowboys fell 57-54 in a very chippy region final to eventual champion Oak Ridge.

Teams to watch: Osceola, Haines City, Gateway

Other teams in the district: George Jenkins, Haines City, Ridge Community

Predicted district champion: Osceola

–2019 trio Isaiah Palermo, Josh Marte (Bethune Cookman signee) and Jaduhkiss Soto are back looking for another state trip. The Kowboys aren’t as deep with Omar Payne (UF signee) now at Montverde. However, Osceola has 2021 guard Joshua Blazquez, 2019 forwards Matthew Kingston and Deshawn Jones are all going to factor into this team’s success.

Written by Jake Perper

Class 9A-District 8

2017-18 winner: Treasure Coast beat Vero Beach 82-60 to capture the district. The Titans (26-4) won 17 straight to open the season. They lost to Osceola in the region semifinal.

Teams to watch: Treasure Coast, Vero Beach, Martin County

Other teams in the district: Central, Centennial

Predicted district champion: Treasure Coast

– Treasure Coast returns leading scorer, 2019 guard Tyrec Thompson and core rebounder, 2019 forward Bronson Kent. The Titans graduated a slew of steady contributors but should be able to put it all together once again. Vero Beach will have a lot to prove with a trio of 2019 starters in guards Tommie Lewis and Javian Cuff and forward Riley Minix.

Written by Jake Perper

A predicted state champion will be announced in Part 2

 

Photo credit: Orlando Sentinel