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Monday, Jul 28, 2014
Preps

Boys Basketball Region Finals

Published:

Games at 7 p.m.

TODAY

Class 4A-Region 3

WHO: Community School of Naples (28-1) at Berkeley Prep (26-3)

NEED TO KNOW: Community School of Naples, which moved up to No. 4 in the latest FABC 4A state poll, defeated Fort Myers Dunbar, 49-40, in the region semifinals. Community School reached the state semifinals last season, but did so as a 3A school. Senior forward Jeff Merton leads the Seahawks with 18.4 points a game. Berkeley Prep, the No. 5-ranked team in 4A, blew past Avon Park in the region semifinals, 76-46, led by senior Marshall Holmes’ 21 points. Three players — Holmes, Craig Bowman and Justin Gray — are averaging double-digit points. The Buccaneers lost in the region final last season to Saint Andrews and are seeking their third trip to the final four and second in the past three seasons. The team lost in the 4A state semifinals in 2012.

Class 3A-Region 2

WHO: Orlando First Academy (21-8) at Tampa Prep (25-3)

NEED TO KNOW: Sophomore Juwan Durham scored 35 points to lead Tampa Prep in a 73-50 win against Brooks-DeBartolo in the region semifinals. Durham, a 6-foot-9 center, is averaging 20.8 points, 11.7 rebounds and 5.8 blocks. The Terrapins, the No. 5 team in 2A, lost in the region final last season on a buzzer-beater to Florida Air and are seeking their ninth trip to the final four. Tampa Prep won the 3A state title in 2012. Tampa Prep defeated First Academy in the region final in 2012 en route to the state title. First Academy, ranked No. 7 in 3A, is led by junior 6-4 shooting guard Fletcher Magee, who scored 32 points in the 69-52 region semifinal win against Daytona Beach Father Lopez.

Class 2A-Region 2

WHO: Academy at the Lakes (17-10) at Orlando Christian Prep (27-1)

NEED TO KNOW: After losing 10 games during the regular season, the Wildcats have flipped the switch since the district tournament. Academy at the Lakes routed Universal and Cambridge at district and easily defeated Canterbury and Bayshore Christian in the first two rounds of the 2A playoffs. Now the Wildcats will take on central Florida powerhouse Orlando Christian Prep, whose lone loss came to Greensboro (N.C.) Day during the regular season. The Warriors have the most talent on a team that the Wildcats might see moving forward, as Orlando Christian has three wing players who hold college offers: 6-foot-6 shooting guard Adonys Henriquez (UCF commitment), 6-5 forward Jonathan Joseph (Stetson commitment) and 6-4 guard Dmitri Thompson, who has offers from USF, Miami, UCF and Purdue. Orlando Christian Prep, which lost in the 2A championship last season, is also the No. 1-ranked team in 2A and fourth overall in Florida. AATL will lean on the play of Ethan Haslam and Malik Hall, who combined for 46 points in the region semifinal win against Bayshore Christian.

SATURDAY

Class 7A-Region 2

WHO: Bartow (19-10) at Freedom (18-6)

NEED TO KNOW: Bartow, the No. 7-ranked team in the 7A poll, is coming off a 72-60 win against Haines City. Sophomore center Tony Bradley (6-8) led the Yellow Jackets with 25 points, 20 rebounds and three blocks. Point guard Derrick Brooks, who is committed to Wofford, added 10 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. Bartow lost in the 7A state semifinals last season. Freedom defeated Strawberry Crest, 42-40, at Strawberry Crest to advance to the program’s first region championship. Sheldon Odunna scored 15 points and Miguel Rojas finished with 12 points in the win for the Patriots, who are seeking their first state final four appearance. A key matchup will be Freedom’s Malik Johnson, a 6-8 center, against Bradley. Johnson is averaging 8.5 points and 5.8 rebounds.

Class 6A-Region 3

WHO: Lehigh (22-6) at Lennard (24-4)

NEED TO KNOW: Lehigh defeated Venice, 53-50, in the region semifinals. Lehigh had not won a region tournament game before this season. Senior Bernard Edwards leads the Lightning with 21.7 points a game. Lennard is coming off a 73-66 upset against Largo, the No. 3-ranked team in 6A, to advance to the program’s first region championship. Diontae Johnson scored a game-high 17 points, while Robert Gant and Earl Williams added 12 points. The Longhorns have four players averaging three or more steals a game and two averaging double-digit points in Caelen Watts (18.5) and Gary Hector (14.2). Lennard is seeking its first state final four appearance, in any sport, and are undefeated at home this season at 11-0.

Nick Williams, Andy Villamarzo

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