20 Feb 2023

2023 First Round Regional Wrap-Up & Second Round Forecast – 6A & 7A


After last year’s craziness, sanity returned to the first round of the regional playoffs.  Our record was 13-3 and the three blemishes were quite surprising, at least to us.  We’ll start on the Treasure Coast were we thought Stuart Martin County could win on the road against district rival Viera.  Strike one.  Over in Tampa, the top-seed in region three, Tampa Leto, fell to Palmetto.  Strike Two.  In South Florida, though we suggest it was a possible upset game, we still took South Plantation over Pines Charter.  However, Pines Charter not only won, they won by twenty, holding South Plantation to a mere twenty-eight points for the game. Strike Three.

Best Matchup: Pick either of the two games in Region Four and you won’t be disappointed.  You will find a lot of talented players on the court when Southridge out of Miami drives up Florida’s Turnpike to take on Dwyer in Palm Beach Gardens.  Dwyer only has one loss on the season while Southridge has played everybody tough (except for Columbus).  In the other game, a pair of young but talented squads match up in St. Thomas Aquinas and Pembroke Pines Charter.  On paper, Pines Charter has more “productive” size than Aquinas.  On the court, STA has been far more consistent while the Jags have had a bit of a roller-coaster ride this season.

Best Chance for an Upset: We’ll pick a pair, one in North Florida and one in Southwest Florida.  In two-seed Gainesville hosting three-seed Orange Park Oakleaf, you have a pair of teams that have been under the radar for most of the season.  By the numbers, Gainesville has played a much tougher schedule and is at home, but Oakleaf has been playing at a high level as of late.  In Southwest Florida, Charlotte out of Punta Gorda better not breathe a sigh of relief that they don’t have to go on the road and get a home game against the last team in the region playoff.  We lover “our guys” at Charlotte and they have played a tough schedule to be prepared for this time of year, but the Tarpons have also shown their uneven play throughout the season.

Our Picks

Ponte Vedra over Gulf Breeze

Gainesville HS over Orange Park Oakleaf

Apopka Wekiva over Viera

Lakeland HS over Orlando Edgewater

Punta Gorda Charlotte over Palmetto

Tampa Wharton over Naples Palmetto Ridge

Palm Beach Gardens Dwyer over Miam Southridge

Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas over Pembroke Pines Charter



We went a surprisingly solid 14-2 in our first round picks in this classification. Windermere went on the road and knocked off a good Port St. Lucie Centennial team.  Over in Tampa, Alonso went on the road and knocked off Plant City.

Best Matchup: We are CAPTIVATED by the game between Lake Worth and Orlando Oak Ridge.  The teams a figuratively mirror-images of each other in terms of size, athleticism, and style of play.  Not only to do the teams matchup well, the individual matchups at various positions on the floor are enticing.  Lake Worth is currently on a 21-game win streak, only losing their first game of the year by three points.  Both teams have played Wellington, winning each time.  Lake Worth beat Wellington by fifteen on the road but by just two in the district final on a neutral floor.  Oak Ridge took down Wellington in a battle at home in the first round last week by just four points.

Best Chance for an Upset: It is always a battle when Windermere at Olympia take on each other.  The Wolverines are good enough to take down the Titans on their home floor as they only lost by three at Olympia just a few weeks ago.

Our Picks

Orlando Colonial over Altamonte Springs Lake Brantley

Orlando Evans over Oviedo Hagerty

Orlando Olympia over Windermere

Lake Worth over Orlando Oak Ridge

Winter Haven over Tampa Plant

Lithia Newsome over Tampa Alonso

Miami Columbus over Doral Academy

Miami Palmetto over Deerfield Beach









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