16 Feb 2023

2023 First Round Region Previews: Class 6A & 7A


District Upsets: Things went pretty much status quo in the district tournaments as only four top seeds failed to grab the district title.  In District Three, #2 Oakleaf took down top seed Ponte Vedra by a single point.  District Four had a pair of upsets as #3 New Port Richey Mitchell knocked off #2 Land O’Lakes while Four Seed Wiregrass Ranch knocked off top seed Ocala Forest.  Forest made it into the playoffs but Land O’Lakes got bumped out.  Wiregrass Ranch won the district title.  In a surprise, the top seed in District Six, Orlando Wekiva, lost its rematch with Orlando Edgewater.  Martin County took out top seed Viera in the District Eight tournament.  However, Palm Bay Heritage did enough at the end of the season to get in past Stuart South Fork for the eighth and final seed in the region.

Toughest Region:  Region Four in South Florida has six of the top twelve teams in the classification.  Top seed Dwyer has only one loss on the year, while #2 St. Thomas Aquinas, Five Seed Boyd Anderson, and Six Seed Pines Charter have the played the toughest schedule.  Throw in a talented Miami Southridge team and a peaking South Plantation and it won’t be an easy journey to Lakeland for any team down south.

Best Opening Matchup: Boyd Anderson heads down I-95 to Miami Southridge in a battle of #9 (BA) vs. #11.  Both teams have solid records and strength of schedule.  One would have to think that Southridge has the advantage playing at home as well as having D-I signee Koree Cotton wanting to taste some playoff success.

Best Chance for an Upset: Looking up and down the bracket, almost none pop out.  The only one that we can think of is Pines Charter going on the road and taking down South Plantation.  South Plantation won the district title so it will be a rematch of just a week ago.  Pines Charter is talented but can they turn around and steal a win against the same team it lost to last week on their home court?

Our Picks:

Ponte Vedra over Wesley Chapel Wiregrass Ranch

Gulf Breeze over St. Augustine Nease

Gainesville HS over Ocala Forest

Orange Park Oakleaf over Cantonment Tate

Apopka Wekiva over Palm Bay Heritage

Stuart Martin County over Viera HS

Lakeland HS over Oviedo HS

Orlando Edgewater over Clermont Lake Minneola

Tampa Leto over Palmetto HS

Punta Gorda Charlotte over Largo HS

Tampa Wharton over Immokalee HS

Naples Palmetto Ridge over Clearwater Countryside


District Upsets: A surprising six out sixteen district top seeds did not win their respective tournaments.  The BIG SHOCKER was Miami Columbus falling to two seed Miami Palmetto.  Columbus is nationally ranked in the top ten so it is a HUGE win for Palmetto.  In District One, St. John’s Creekside, the two seed, took down top seed Jacksonville Mandarin.  In District Three, #1 seed Orlando Evans fell to two seed Altamonte Springs Lake Brantley.  The top seed in District Four, Orlando Colonial, dropped the title game to two seed Oviedo Hagerty.  Two seed Harmony in District Five knocked off Orlando Lake Nona.  Three seed Tampa Plant held off top seed Tarpon Springs East Lake in the District Ten title game.  The second biggest surprise on Friday was bottom seed Sarasota Riverview taking out the #3, #2, and #1 seeds in District Twelve.  Finally, in District Fourteen, Coral Glades, the two seed, edged past top seed Weston Cypress Bay for the title.

Toughest Region: There is not doubt that Region Two is the most challenging to get through.  Teams ranked #2, #4, #5, #6, #10, and #11 all reside here.  On the flip side, the top seed in District One is only ranked #13.  Every team better buckle up and come prepared to play their best in this region.

Best Opening Matchup: There are a pair of games that really stand out to us.  First of all, Windermere at Centennial should be a great game.  Both teams have a number of playmakers, decent size, and capable shooters.  Centennial is particularly motivated after last season’s regional loss at home.  Heading down to South Florida, we think Palmetto hosting Coral Glades is intriguing.  Glades has a bit more size and it will be interesting to see if Palmetto has any kind of hangover after taking down Columbus last week.

Best Chance for an Upset:  The Oak Ridge Pioneers better have their “patience caps” on when hosting Wellington tomorrow night.  Wellington can play a variety of ways and won’t hesitate to slow the pace down against Oak Ridge. No doubt it will be a packed house at Oak Ridge but Wellington has played in this type of atmosphere many times and survived.

Our Picks:

Orlando Colonial over St. Johns Creekside

Altamonte Springs Lake Brantley over Sanford Seminole

Orlando Evans over Lake Mary HS

Oviedo Hagerty over Ocoee HS

Orlando Olympia over Orlando Lake Nona

Port St. Lucie Centennial over Windermere HS

Lake Worth HS over Harmony HS

Orlando Oak Ridge over Wellington HS

Winter Haven HS over Sarasota Riverview

Tampa Plant over Tarpon Springs East Lake

Lithia Newsome over Riverview Sumner

Plant City HS over Tampa Alonso

Miami Columbus over Davie Western

Doral Academy over Weston Cypress Bay

Miami Palmetto over  Coral Glades

Deerfield Beach over Parkland Stoneman Douglas

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