The Kissimmee Osceola Kowboys hosted the Lake Worth Trojans in the Class 7A Region 3 final Friday night to determine the region’s representative to the state semi-finals in Lakeland next week. Lake Worth was forced to go on the road due to losing the district title to Wellington, the team that Osceola defeated on Tuesday in the region semi-finals. At 20-3, Lake Worth had produced a body of work that made them the first “at-large” team in the regional playoffs.
The Trojan’s scored the first points of the contest on a three from Anthony Coby. Osceola’s Sean Combs responded in kind and a torrid, back-and-forth pace was set for the first quarter. The Kowboys built an 11-7 lead midway thru the period, but Lake Worth continued to grind away. Over the next two minutes, the Trojans would but together a 9-4 run to take a 16-15 lead. After a put-back basket from Marvin Golf of Lake Worth pushed the margin to three. Osceola tied the game with a three from Cristopher Rios. A drive and score from Calvin Sirmans of Lake Worth gave the Trojans back the lead but a three-point play from Victor Guzman made it 21-20 in favor of Osceola. Lake Worth wasn’t done and closed out the quarter with four straight points to lead 24-21.
It was too much to expect the teams to keep up that pace in the second quarter. Both teams came out a bit more cautious with the basketball. After Golf of Lake Worth scored the first basket of the period, Osceola scored the next six points, four from Tyler Newsome, to take a 27-26 lead. Lake Worth answered with a 10-2 run of their own to build a seven-point 36-29 lead with under four minutes to play. At that point, the Osceola defense locked in. They held the Trojans scoreless the rest of the period while going on a seven-point run to tie the game at the break, 36-36.
The teams traded two-point baskets to start the third quarter. Osceola then scored the next six points to lead 44-38. Lake Worth cut that margin in half with a three-point play from Sirmans. Twice Osceola made it a two-possession game but each time Lake Worth responded. After a Christian Combs bucket made the score 47-43 in favor of the Kowboys, Sirmans struck again, dropping in a three and then a mid-range jumper to give Lake Worth a 48-47 lead. Osceola took the lead back with four quick points but Lake Worth was quick to tie. Just before the end of the period, Cory Vega of Osceola scored inside to give the Kowboys a 55-53 lead going into the fourth quarter.
As close as the first three quarters had been, there was every expectation that the final period would be the same and we would have an exciting finish and possibly overtime.
That didn’t happen.
Lake Worth found another gear. After one of two free throws from Golf, Lake Worth took the lead with a put-back basket from Chancellor Wilson. Those points were the start of a shocking 20-0 run by Lake Worth in the final quarter. Once Osceola got down, they pressed to get back quickly. This led to some tough shots that missed and those produced run-outs and easy scores for the Trojans. Osceola called a time-out at 4:30 down just eight at 63-55, but Lake Worth scored another ten points after that. A mid-range jumper from Guzman was the only basket for the Kowboys in the fourth. By that time, only the final score had yet to be determined. A very close game turned into a route as Lake Worth would win by the score of 75-57.
The “Wonder ‘Vins”, Marvin Golf and Calvin Sirmans (see what we did there?) led the Trojans. Golf had 27 points while Sirmans added 20 points. Wilson gave the team 12 points while Coby tossed in 11 points.
For Osceola, Sean Combs had 15 points while both Christian Combs and Ryan Rivera each added 9 points.
Golf, a 6’5 junior, does a little bit of everything. Twelve of his 27 points came off of offensive rebounds. He is solid with the ball, a good passer, and alert defender. He missed his first two free throws of the contest but went 7-8 after that. Golf doesn’t rely on his jumper to score and doesn’t force the issue on the offensive end. With a high IQ and court savvy, he lets the game come to him and understands how to take advantage of various situations to get points on the board.
Sirmans, a 5’8 junior, is what every seemingly successful team has: a tough, fierce, undersized guard that is difficult to contain at both ends of the floor. Offensively he has a deep bag of tricks to get to and score at the basket, make shots over defenders in the lane, and is dangerous enough from deep that he must be respected. There were a few occasions where he over-penetrated and made some bad decisions with the basketball but that stems more from confidence than anything else. Defensively he has fast feet and active hands. In short, he plays bigger than his size.