20 Feb 2023

2023 First Round Regional Wrap-Up & Second Round Forecast – 4A & 5A


We went a “meh” 12-4 in our first round picks.  We thought a higher-ranked Jacksonville Jackson could win on the road at Panama City Bay but Bay held serve. Cocoa was bit of a surprise in their road win over Lake Highland Prep of Orlando.  An eye-brow raiser and a jaw-dropper took place in South Florida.  Hallandale raised some eyebrows in going down to Miami and putting an end to a very good season for St. Brendan by two points.  The jaw-dropper was Boynton Beach Somerset Academy Canyons defeating the #2 ranked Fort Lauderdale Cardinal Gibbons on the road by a bucket.

Best Matchup: The best matchup of the night could very well be at The Villages Charter as the Buffalo take on the Colts of North Marion from neighboring Marion County.  North Marion has been on a role since 6’8 junior Sammie Yeanay returned from The Rock School.  It is a group of very athletic players that want to play as fast as possible.  It will be challenge for 6’9 senior and Alabama signee Sam Walters and his teammates to keep up but The Villages has played a fairly tough schedule and should be ready come Tuesday night.

Best Chance for an Upset: Our best matchup candidate could also be our candidate in this category as #3 is on the road at #2.  However, we’ll give Hallandale the best shot of pulling off the upset against top-seed and #1 ranked Mater Lakes Academy.  While Lakes defeated Hallandale the only time they played in the district tourney by twelve, the Bears live and die by the three-point shot.  If for some reason it is a cold night for Mater Lakes, Hallandale has a chance.

Our Picks

Jacksonville Ribault over Panama City Bay

Jacksonville Paxon over Jacksonville Bishop Kenney

Alachua Santa Fe over Cocoa

The Villages Charter over Citra North Marion

St. Pete Gibbs over St. Pete Lakewood

Fort Myers Gateway over Brooksville Central

Hialeah Mater Lakes over Hallandale

Coconut Creek North Broward Prep over Boynton Beach Somerset Academy Canyons



We were 14-2 overall in our picks and our losses “pick ‘ems” in 4 vs 5 matchups.  Leesburg went on the road and took down a talented but young Tampa Blake squad by seven.  Meanwhile, Cape Coral Mariner scored a two-point win over host Seminole in Pinellas County.

Best Matchup: A pair of games on Tuesday night qualify in this category.  In Polk County, eighth-ranked and #2 seed Auburndale host seventh-ranked and three-seed Tampa Jesuit.  It will definitely be a contrast in styles as the Greyhounds of Auburndale want to live up to their name while Jesuit will play patiently.  In South Florida, third-seed and #6 ranked Miami Norland travels up I-95 to take on second-seed and #2 ranked Riviera Beach Suncoast.  As the saying goes, “to be The Man, you have to beat The Man” and that is what the Chargers of Suncoast will have to do in taking on the Norland Vikings.

Best Chance for an Upset: Just like in the above category, there are a pair of games that stand out as ripe for the road team to steal a win.  Jacksonville Riverside may not have the sterling record of Daytona Beach Mainland but they are equal in terms of athleticism and Riverside has played a stronger schedule.  Neither Orlando Jones or Leesburg have a gaudy W-L record but each has a track record of success come playoff time.  Leesburg lost by three on a neutral court to Jones early in the season but that seems like a long time ago.  While we can’t explain it, there is just a feeling in the air that Jones better bring their “A” game Tuesday night.

Our Picks

Daytona Beach Mainland over Jacksonville Riverside

Pensacola Booker T. Washington over Lake City Columbia

Orlando Jones over Leesburg

Auburndale over Tampa Jesuit

Naples Barron Collier over Cape Coral Mariner

St. Petersburg HS over Bradenton Southeast

Miami Belen Jesuit over Rockledge HS

Riviera Beach Suncoast over Miami Norland








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