It wasn’t a good night for home teams, #1 seeds, or our predictions on Tuesday night. While Franklin County prevailed at home over Cottondale, Newberry suffered a two-point defeat at the hands of Hawthorne while Williston defeated Wildwood for the third time this season by three points. Chipley defeated Jay by double-digits over in the Central Time Zone. Our guess is the semis will have Williston as the top seed and Franklin County at the four spot. We’ll provide our predictions for the semi-final winners and champion before the start of the tournament next week.
We did pretty well, going 7-1 with our picks. Our only blemish was Dade Christian squeaking out a four-point win on the road. The closest contest of the night had Orlando Central Florida Christian Academy going to Lakeland Victory Christian and falling by just two points. On the flip side, there were a couple of blow-out wins, most notably Tampa SLAM’s 51-point margin of victory. All four #1 seeds advanced to the regional final and three of the four regional finals will feature #1 vs. #2 matchups. The only “outlier” is #1 Sagemont hosting #3 Dade Christian.
Best Matchup: All look to be excellent but there is seemingly a lot of buzz around the Orlando Christian Prep/Lakeland Victory Christian contest. Lorenzo Cason of VC has been lighting up scoreboards all year while OCP has been winning with an extremely stingy defense. It isn’t a vintage OCP team as it lacks the size that has made the Warriors so formidable in the past. Still, OCP is King of the 2A Hill until they get knocked off.
Best Chance for an Upset: Sagemont has been cruising through their part of the bracket down in South Florida. And while Dade Christian only won by four, they did go on the road and defeat a solid Jupiter Christian team that has a similar make-up to Sagemont. If Dade Christian can handle Sagemont’s incredibly potent hi-lo game inside, they might just be able to sneak back home to Miami with a ticket to Lakeland.
Jacksonville North Florida Educational Institute over Jacksonville Impact Christian
Orlando Christian Prep over Lakeland Victory Christian
Tampa SLAM Academy over St. Petersburg Canterbury
Weston Sagemont over Miami Dade Christian
We went a so-so 6-2 with our picks as West Palm Beach King’s Academy went across the state and took down Riverview Bell Creek Academy by two points. Over by the bay in Clearwater, Tampa Brooks-DeBartolo continued its post-season success in defeating Clearwater Calvary Christian. B-D has defeated both the #3 and the #2 seeds in its region and both by double digits. They should NOT be considered a Cinderella. Of the six remaining games, all were decided by double-digits, the smallest being thirteen points. All four #1 seeds advanced to the region finals and two of the four finals are #1 vs. #2 seeds. Brooks-DeBartolo is the lowest seed remaining at #6 but they sure aren’t playing like it.
Best Matchup: We REALLY want it to be Fort Lauderdale Westminster Academy at Miami Riviera Prep. The two teams met almost a month ago in the Montverde Academy Invitational and Riviera Prep won handily. There are a lot bigger stakes this time around and while the winner may not get the top seed in Lakeland, it will be considered the favorite.
Best Chance for an Upset: Yes, Brooks-DeBartolo can continue its hot streak at Tampa Catholic on Friday night. There have been times where TC has played less than enthusiastically and has lost a head scratcher or two this season. Not saying it is going to happen, just that it is more likely to happen than the other three games on Friday. Actually, no matter who wins in the other three contests it won’t be considered an upset.
Jacksonville Providence over Tallahassee Florida High
Orlando Windermere Prep over West Palm Beach King’s Academy
Tampa Catholic over Tampa Brooks-DeBartolo
Miami Riviera Prep over Fort Lauderdale Westminster Academy