We took in the Breast Cancer Awareness Classic this past Saturday at Oak Ridge High School in Orlando. A five-game set with high-level programs from around the state, the BCA promotes the need for testing and routine preventative care to fight a disease that has most likely touched everyone, either directly or indirectly.
Tampa Catholic vs. Winter Haven
The Crusaders of Tampa Catholic came into the event a bit short-handed with only eight available players. The main missing piece was sophomore Karter Knox, who had picked up a pair of technicals in a previous game and had to sit out two games per state association rules.
The first quarter was a closely contested affair. The score was tied at 10-10 midway thru and after the first eight minutes, Winter Haven held a one point lead, 16-15. The second period found Tampa Catholic open with a burst, outscoring the Blue Devils 12-4 in the first four minutes, grabbing a seven point lead in the process. That lead would extend to nine, 38-29, at the half.
The Crusaders continued to keep a stranglehold on the lead in the second half. They led by thirteen, 57-44, heading into the final period. Winter Haven got to within nine at 63-54 with four minutes to play but were unable to get any closer. Tampa Catholic won by the score of 73-64.
Tampa Catholic was led freshman Isaiah Campbell-Finch with 21 points while Eddrin Bronson scored 17 points as did Roderick “Scooby” Watson-Pearcey.
Isaac Celiscar paced Winter Haven with 20 points while Dylan James tossed in 19 points and Jamie Phillips contributed 14 points.
St. Petersburg vs. Miami Norland
Both teams have legitimate hopes of reaching Lakeland in Class 5A, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see these two teams match up again in March.
It was a bit of a sluggish start for both teams as the score was only 6-4 in favor of St. Petersburg after four minutes. Norland was the first to get its offense in gear, finishing the period with a 9-3 run to lead 13-9. In the second period, Norland extended their lead to 17-10 midway through the quarter but St. Pete was undeterred. They took advantage of Viking mistakes and capitalized, drawing to within a basket at the half, 22-20.
Much like the first quarter, Norland was the aggressor and grew its lead. However, they just couldn’t shake the pesky Green Devils, especially Tristan Gross as he was making shot after shot to help the team keep pace. Leading by just three, 33-30, going into the final period, Norland was able to extend their defense and the lead, going up by double-digits with five minutes remaining. St. Pete in response extended their defense in an attempt to close the gap, but Norland was able to make eight straight free throws down the stretch to hold them off. Norland would ultimately win by eight, 52-44.
The Vikings were led by Marcus Allen with 13 points and Clarence Burts with 10 points.
St. Pete got 19 points from Gross.
Orlando Jones vs. Leesburg HS
Jones was without some players who were just coming off the team’s football playoff run. The Tigers certainly were not going to use that as an excuse, but the team came out sluggish in the first quarter, scoring only five points. Fortunately for them, the Yellow Jackets of Leesburg were experiencing similar struggles and only scored eight points in that time.
Jones finally found a groove and began the second quarter with a 6-2 run to pull ahead by a point after two minutes. Leesburg got itself together and responded in a big way, closing out the period with an 18-8 spurt to go into the half up nine at 28-19.
Jones could have folded but did anything but. The Tigers opened the third quarter with an 11-2 run to tie the score at 30-30 with 5:30 left in the period. Leesburg held the lead at 34-32 at the four minute mark but Jones continued its torrid pace and led by five, 45-40, entering the final period of play.
This time Leesburg was unable to re-take the lead. Jones extended its lead to double-digits and the Yellow Jackets were never able to get any closer than eight points the rest of the way. The Tigers would ultimately win by ten, 59-49.
For Jones, Keishaun Robinson and Omari Henry each scored 13 points.
Camerin James of Leesburg led all scorers with 16 points while Andre Carter added 11 points.
Windermere HS vs. Orlando Lake Highland Prep
The marquee game of the event, both teams came in undefeated and sported multiple players to watch with the focus being on junior standout Sean Stewart of Windermere and Ohio State signee Brice Sensabaugh of Lake Highland Prep. Several college coaches made it into the gym for this one, most notably Jon Scheyer, the Head Coach-in-waiting at Duke.
Both teams came out with a spark and midway thru the opening period the Wolverines of Windermere had a 9-8 advantage. The Highlanders were the first to put together a run, finishing the quarter with a 10-2 spurt and leading 18-11 going into the second period.
Now it was Windermere’s turn. The Wolverines tied the game with an 8-1 run in a minute-and-a-half. Right back came Lake Highland, using the torrid outside shooting of Sensabaugh. After eight straight Highlander points, Windermere called timeout with five minutes left in the half down 27-19. At the break, Windermere drew a bit closer but was down 38-31.
The pace of the game was a bit slower in the third quarter but no less intense. The Wolverines slowly chewed away at the lead and with around three minutes left to play were down only one at 44-43. However, Lake Highland scored the last four points of the period and took a five point, 48-43 lead into the fourth quarter.
Windermere threated to re-take the lead multiple times in the fourth period but seemingly each time Sesnsabaugh delivered a dagger from deep to keep the Wolverines at bay. Lake Highland would hold off Windermere by the score of 67-61 and remain undefeated.
Sensabaugh was absolutely sensational for LHP, going for 37 points on the night which included 8-11 from not just three-point range but NBA three point range. He got support from Jared Berry who had 12 points. Both seniors scored their respective 1,000th career point on the night, a major accomplishment.
For Windermere, Stewart was no less spectacular. His numbers of 26 points (12-24) from the floor, 12 rebounds and 4 blocks don’t tell the whole story. He played with incredible energy and aggression more than warranting his rise nationally in the Class of 2023 rankings. He got help from classmate Jalen Dubose who contributed 13 points.
Orlando Oak Ridge vs. Orlando Evans
Oak Ridge burst out of the gate to start the game with an 11-0 run within the first two minutes of the contest. And to be honest, that as much of a contest as there was. The Pioneers never let off the gas at either end of the court and Evans simply didn’t have the horses to keep pace. The Trojans were within ten points at the half, 44-34, but found themselves down eighteen, 65-47, with one quarter left to play. Oak Ridge threatened to break the century mark in the final period but, with a couple minutes remaining and up twenty-plus points, put in the reserves. The Pioneers would ultimately win going away, 94-71.
Oak Ridge got a tremendous game from Fabio Basilli as he finished with 37 points. Tyler Johnson finished with 21 points and Elijah Elliott added 12 points.
Evans got 24 points from Jyshaun Melvin.