26 Feb 2024

2024 Regional Finals Roundup and Final Four Preview – 1A thru 4A


Only a single regional #1 seed make it to Lakeland and that was the #1 team overall in the classification, Williston.  As expected, the Red Devils will host Chipley in one semi-final while a pair of regional two seeds, Hilliard and Crossroad Academy out of Quincy, face off in the other semi-final contest.

Best Matchup: The best matchup should be the expected Williston/Hilliard final.  Williston has been dominant all season and fortified on a diet of challenging yet successful games against schools from larger classifications.  Hilliard is ranked #3 in the classification, but its strength of schedule doesn’t come close to comparing to Williston’s.  On paper, the talent level is relatively equal as Hilliard has four players averaging double figures, led by junior C.J. Hall, while Williston also has four players in double-figures, led by senior Kyler Lamb.

Best Chance for an Upset: Crossroads doesn’t come in with the fire-power that Hilliard does and only has one senior of note but it was just two years ago that Crossroads was in the state title game, so it won’t be foreign territory.

Our Picks

Hilliard over Quincy Crossroad Academy

Williston over Chipley

Williston over Hilliard for the Class 1A State Championship


Not much of a surprise in going 4-0 in our picks in the regional finals.  It wasn’t a surprise that both Sagemont and Tampa SLAM won by double-digits at home.  It was a bit of a surprise that Jacksonville Impact Christian won by just two against district rival Jacksonville University Christian by only two on its home court.  While we thought Orlando Christian Prep would win on the road at Lakeland Victory Christian, we didn’t think that they would dominate as they did.  The final surprise to the night was that Sagemont jumped to the #1 seed.  We thought surely that OCP’s win against #5 North Tampa Christian and #1 Victory Christian on it regional run would get them the top spot.

Best Matchup: At least in the semi-finals, the OCP/SLAM game should be engaging.  Both teams have multiple college-level players on their respective rosters.  It may be a matter of OCP’s defense vs. SLAM’s potent offense.  This is a rematch from last year, with OCP winning by sixteen points and holding SLAM to 28 points total.  This game, at least scoring-wise, should be different.

Best Chance for an Upset: Not really seeing one.  We give Impact Christian many kudos for reaching this point but feel Sagemont has superior personnel.  Because of the talent on the floor, whoever wins the OCP/SLAM semi-final will not be an upset.

Our Picks

Orlando Christian Prep over Tampa SLAM

Weston Sagemont over Jacksonville Impact Christian

Orlando Christian Prep over Weston Sagemont for the Class 2A State Championship


We went 3-1 in our choices for the regional winners in this classification.  All the flowers to Miami Riviera Prep for going into Fort Lauderdale Westminster Academy and coming out with, not just a win, but a fifteen-point statement victory.  The other three regionals were all closely contested.  Both Jacksonville Providence and Windermere Prep won their respective games by just seven points.  Berkeley Prep was able to eke out a three-point win over Gateway Charter of Fort Myers in Tampa.

Best Matchup: Providence and Windermere Prep meet last year in the semi-finals, with Windermere Prep coming out on top.  Providence comes in with a lot of seniors while Windermere Prep is dominated by underclassmen.  On top of that, the coaches know each other very well as Brian Hoff of Windermere Prep served on Jim Martin’s Providence staff prior to taken the reins of Windermere Prep.  Can the student teach the teacher one more time?

Best Chance for an Upset: If it is going to happen, it would come in the finals with Windermere Prep getting by Riviera Prep.  The teams mirror each other in terms of size and talent.  Riviera Prep is looking for its second state title in as many years and will be hard to dislodge from the top of the mountain.

Our Picks

Miami Riviera Prep over Tampa Berkeley Prep

Windermere Prep over Jacksonville Providence

Miami Riviera Prep over Windermere Prep for the Class 3A State Championship


It was a rough 2-2 night regarding our picks.  As expected, both Jacksonville Jackson and St. Petersburg Gibbs won easily on their respective home courts though we didn’t expect 20+ point blowouts.  In the other two contests, The Villages went into Palm Bay and won by six while North Broward Prep went down to Hialeah and took down the top-ranked team in the classification, Hialeah Mater Lakes.

Best Matchup: The North Broward Prep/St. Pete Gibbs semi should be a good one.  NBP will have the advantage inside with a 6’6, 6’7, 6’8 front line while Gibbs’ backcourt trio has been scintillating all season.  Both teams like to use the three-point shot as a primary weapon, so whoever can make that work best will have the advantage.

Best Chance for an Upset: Jackson has been good all season and probably hasn’t been given the proper amount of respect it deserves.  They will be facing a young but talented The Villages team that seems to be playing its best basketball of the season.  The Villages actually has a slight edge when it comes to strength of schedule numbers but hasn’t won the number of games that Jackson has.

Our Picks

Jacksonville Andrew Jackson over The Villages Charter

Coconut Creek North Broward Prep over St. Petersburg Gibbs

North Broward Prep over Jackson for the Class 4A State Championship






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