Posted On: 12/29/18 3:42 PM

Friday night the 2018 Junior Orange Bowl Basketball Classic semifinals were held at Miami Palmetto Senior High School in Pinecrest.

North Miami defeated South Miami, 65-60, in a major FHSAA Class 9A clash to advance, while St. Maria Goretti came south from Maryland to hand Palmetto just its second loss of the season, 48-45.

North Miami and Goretti will tangle Saturday night for the championship. Teams from Maryland or Washington D.C. have won the past three Junior Orange Bowl championships.

Here are 5 Takeaways from the Junior Orange Bowl Classic semis:

Future regional showdown?

North Miami High comes out of Class 9A-District 14. South Miami out of 9A-15.

Expect the two South Florida powers to meet down the road in the regionals in hopes of getting to Lakeland.

North Miami (8-3) has bragging rights for now after a hard-fought, five-point victory. Senior 6-foot-5 sharpshooter Richard Charles (pictured) led the Pioneers with a 22-point, 10-rebound, 4-assist, 2-steal performance. Charles was 8 of 15, including four 3-pointers.

“I had to put the team on my back today because this was a big game,” Charles said. “We knew they had two great point guards. We just tried to put pressure on the ball make them force bad turnovers.”

Charles plans to visit Western Nebraska on Jan. 11. He is also getting interest from FIU, Lynn and Barry. 

North Miami 6-5 2020 Carlos Hart (13), 2021 Chamon Metayer (12) and 2019 Marc Meronne (10) all finished in double figures.

“That was a good tester for us,” Pioneers coach Reynald Benoit said. “The key was the guys just wanting it.”

Transition & turnovers

Senior forward Lee Flenor, who will find himself on a college roster next season, had a double-double to lead the Cobras (9-4). Flenor had 13 points and 12 rebounds in three quarters before spraining an ankle.

Barry guard signee Toru Dean contributed 19 points and 3 assists. 2021 guard Arturo Dean scored 9 points to go along with 8 assists and 5 steals. However, the Deans combined for 13 of South Miami’s 24 turnovers on the night.

“Transition … they killed us in transition points,” South Miami coach Robert Doctor said. “I think that was the thing that broke the game open.”

6-10 junior center Brandon Sanders‘ totals: 5 points, 9 rebounds, 3 blocks. “He’s done a wonderful job,” Doctor said.

Polish Sniper

He’s been called the Polish Sniper.

St. Maria Goretti’s Przemek Golek is still looking for his first scholarship offer.

The 6-4 senior, in his second year at Goretti, connected on 7 of 13 from the field on the way to a 17-point, 4-rebound performance vs. Palmetto.

You can slot Golek in to several positions. He is smart, played an excellent floor game and will help a program on the next level.

Tsimbila a presence in middle

Golek’s teammate, Abdou Tsimbila, is much more known. The 6-8 Penn State signee is tough on the boards (11 rebounds) and a defensive presence in the lane (5 blocks). 

Goretti plays in the Baltimore, Md., Catholic League. Its three losses are to: DeMatha, Baltimore St. Francis and Baltimore Polytech.

Palmetto’s undoing

Palmetto lost for just the second time in 12 games. The other loss came vs. two-time defending state champion Westminster Academy, 65-64, at AmericanAirlines Arena in November.

The Panthers’ undoing: Poor shooting and being loose with the ball. Palmetto made just 18 of 50 field-goal attempts (36 percent) and committed 17 turnovers while forcing only 6.

2020 Kentron Poitier struggled to a 1-for-11 shooting night. 6-7 senior Josmel Martinez was held to 7 points.

Senior guard Jovan Debrito did have 17 points, including 5 of 8 3-point shooting.

If you have high school basketball news, you can reach Pat Lammer via e-mail at PatALammer@Gmail.com or via text at 954-661-9671.