All games tonight at 7
Class 8A-Region 2
WHO: Plant (17-12) at Palm Harbor University (23-3)
NEED TO KNOW: Plant has seven players averaging between five and eight points per game, with the leading scorer being senior Madelyn Carey (8.7 per game). Plant lost in the region quarterfinal round last season. Senior Amber Jennings leads the Hurricanes, who are ranked 10th in the 8A state poll, with 14.9 rebounds per game.
WHO: St. Petersburg (21-6) at Riverview (15-7)
NEED TO KNOW: Senior Lazasha Baskins leads St. Petersburg with 11.3 points per game. Riverview is making its fourth straight region appearance and is led by Kierra Haywood (19.7 ppg) and Asia Royster (15.3 ppg). The Sharks lost in the region quarterfinal last year.
Class 7A-Region 2
WHO: Wiregrass Ranch (26-3) at Strawberry Crest (24-4)
NEED TO KNOW: The Bulls lost a heartbreaker last Friday, 44-42 to Steinbrenner in the 7A-District 8 title game, and now face the fifth-ranked team in 7A. Wiregrass will rely on its low post combination of Amanda Melosky (16.1 ppg) and Logan Seoane (8.4 ppg) in its first region appearance. Senior guard Aliyah Gregory, who has signed with Central Florida, leads Strawberry Crest with 20.8 points per game.
WHO: Tampa Bay Tech (22-5) at Steinbrenner (24-3)
NEED TO KNOW: Tampa Bay Tech center Brianna Thomas is averaging 19 points and 9.9 rebounds per game, while sharp-shooting junior guard Kirtisha Nelson is averaging 13.9. Senior guard Taylor Thigpen, who has signed with Florida Southern, is averaging 9.0 points for Steinbrenner, the 10th-ranked team in 7A, while junior forward Rachel Briere is averaging 11.4 points and 2.7 steals.
Class 6A-Region 3
WHO: Mitchell (13-11) at Armwood (24-4)
NEED TO KNOW: The Mustangs have their work cut out vs. the Hawks, a team Mitchell lost to 58-33 in the MLK tournament. The Mustangs will need to play much better the second time around if they look to upend Armwood. Armwood, ranked No. 5 in the 6A state poll, has won nine consecutive games and is led by 1,000 point scorer Kiana King.
Class 5A-Region 2
WHO: Brooksville Nature Coast (19-4) at Gulf (20-3)
NEED TO KNOW: The Buccaneers had a dominant performance in their district championship and face the Sharks, who played well vs. Pasco County teams, for the first time. Gulf is 9-2 when playing teams with a .500 or better record. Buccaneers guard Kayla Kivinski is averaging a team-high 16.3 ppg.
WHO: Land O’ Lakes (19-4) at Pasco (19-9)
NEED TO KNOW: Pasco overcame the loss of last season’s leading scorer, Allahon Marbra, to take home a district championship and could possibly see an old district foe Gulf, but it must first get by Land O’ Lakes. The Gators soundly defeated the Pirates 49-28 on Nov. 20, but Pasco is a much different team now. Watch out for the high-low combo of point guard Brianca Roberts and center Ashley Webster, who combine to average 25 points.
Class 5A-Region 3
WHO: Gibbs (10-12) at Spoto (4-15)
NEED TO KNOW: Gibbs is led by Shalbria Murphy (12.1 points per game). Spoto is making its third region appearance and first as a district champion. The Spartans are 0-2 in the playoffs and are led by junior forward Ivy Carswell, who has scored 57 points in her past two games.
WHO: Middleton (9-10) at Bradenton Southeast (26-1)
NEED TO KNOW: Middleton is making its first region tournament appearance. Southeast, the No. 2 team in 5A, has three players averaging double figures, the high scorer being senior Keshawna Robinson at 14.9 per game.
Class 4A-Region 2
WHO: Ridgewood (14-12) at Gainesville P.K. Yonge (7-6)
NEED TO KNOW: Ridgewood coach Lawrence Brown believes his team is playing its best basketball, and a close loss to Ocala Trinity Catholic is a sign of the strong midseason turnaround. Samantha Williams, who scored 18 points in the 4A-6 final, will need to have another solid night if Ridgewood wants to advance.
Class 4A-Region 3
WHO: Lake Placid at Tampa Catholic (16-12)
NEED TO KNOW: Quiahja Williams led Lake Placid with 18 points in last week’s district championship loss to Lakeland McKeel Academy. Tampa Catholic won its sixth consecutive district championship on Saturday against Holy Names. Freshman duo Mia Blocker and Alise Davis are averaging 12.1 and 11.5 points per game, respectively.
WHO: Academy of the Holy Names (19-8) at Lakeland McKeel Academy (19-6)
NEED TO KNOW: Holy Names senior guard Ashley McWilliams is averaging 12.8 points. Cristina Snyder is the county’s leading 3-point shooter with 66. The Jaguars lost to Lake Placid in the quarterfinal round last season. Freshman Avree Carpenter is averaging 16.3 points per game for the Wildcats, who are 1-7 all-time in the postseason.
Class 3A-Region 2
WHO: Carrollwood Day (4-8) at Fort Meade (19-6)
NEED TO KNOW: Carrollwood Day is making its first region appearance. Junior Quinika Williams, who scored 26 points in the district championship game against Lakeland Christian, leads the Miners with 16.7 points per game.
WHO: Lakeland Christian (15-6) at Seffner Christian (22-5)
NEED TO KNOW: Jessie Andrew is averaging 15 points per game for Lakeland Christian. Seffner Christian, the defending region champion, is ranked third in the 3A state poll. Junior Peyton Walker, who recently surpassed 1,500 career points, is averaging 20.4 points per game, while senior guard Sabrina Whiting, who recently surpassed 2,000 points, is averaging 15.4 per game.
Class 2A-Region 2
WHO: Brooksville Hernando Christian (10-15) at Academy at the Lakes (19-5)
NEED TO KNOW: In the past, region quarterfinal games for the Wildcats have been formalities leading up to a big region final matchup, and this postseason is no different. The Wildcats have played well this season, with mostly seventh- and eighth-graders and some freshmen and sophomores mixed in.
WHO: Cambridge Christian (4-14) at Kewsick Christian (20-8)
NEED TO KNOW: Cambride Christian is making its 10th region appearance. Keswick Christian is a balanced scoring team, with no player averaging more than 8.5 points per game.
Nick WIlliams, Andy Villamarzo