The various district tournaments are over and the fields for the regional rounds in each classification are set. Time to look at what took place and what lies ahead this coming Thursday.
District Upsets: The major surprise was in District 4 where top seed and #3 in class Quincy Crossroad Academy went down in the semi-finals. Evidently, Class 1A is still following the “old formula” of district runners-up advancing to the regional instead of the highest rated non-district winner. If Crossroad had been in 2A, they most likely would have earned a six seed in Region One. District two seeds #9 Milton Central, #13 Bonifay Bethlehem, and #19 Bell all lost to district three seeds and are left wondering how far they could have gone.
Toughest Region: Region 4 has both #1 ranked Wildwood and #2 ranked Hawthorne. They at-large bids, #11 Pahokee and #14 Williston, are two of the three highest rated at-large teams in regional play. Because of the limited geography of Class 1A, this would be a good place to experiment with taking all sixteen teams and seeding them one through sixteen and running the Class 1A tournament that way. That would ensure the better teams reach the Final Four.
Best Opening Matchup: Based strictly on ratings, #12 Franklin County at #10 Vernon should be the most competitive of the regional matchups in Class 1A.
Best Chance for an Upset: Malone, rated #4, lost its district final and now must go on the road to Port St. Joe. Regardless of class, road games are tough and even though Port. St. Joe came out of the #3 spot in District 4, Malone needs to come prepared.
Paxton over Holmes County
Graceville over Jay
Vernon over Franklin County
Malone over Port. St. Joe
Madison County over Trenton
Hilliard over Jefferson County
Hawthorne over Pahokee
Wildwood over Williston
District Upsets: Any upsets in this classification related to teams losing out on an eight seed. St. John’s Lutheran’s win in District 2 kept Munroe of Quincy out of an eight seed. The top seed in District 12, Vero Beach St. Edward’s, lost to Florida Prep in the final. Their ranking wasn’t high enough to get them an at-large bid, so St. Edward’s stays home. In District 13, West Palm Beach Atlantic’s district tourney loss was enough to drop them behind Hebrew Academy for the eight seed in Region Four.
Toughest Region: Region 4 features #3 Miami Schoolhouse Prep, #7 Boca Raton Grandview Prep and #8 Hialeah Champagnat. All three of those teams are legit contenders to take the title in Class 2A.
Best Opening Matchup: By the numbers, it should be #18 Fort Myers Southwest Florida Christian going up I-75 take on #16 Tampa Cambridge Christian.
Best Chance for an Upset: Looking over the schedule of games for Thursday night, higher rated teams on the road like Impact Christian, Evangelical Christian, and Mount Dora Christian don’t seem likely to lose. Truthfully, there aren’t any higher ranked teams, at home or on the road, that look in danger of losing on Thursday night.
Jacksonville North Florida Educational Institute over Jacksonville Beaches Chapel
Jacksonville Impact Christian over Ocala St. John’s Lutheran
Tallahassee St. John Paul II over Tallahassee FAMU
Jacksonville University Christian over Gainesville St. Francis
Naples First Baptist Academy over Port Charlotte Community Christian
Fort Myers Evangelical Christian over Zephyrhills Christian
Tampa Cambridge Christian over Fort Myers Southwest Florida Christian
Tampa Bayshore Christian over Tampa Universal Academy
Orlando Christian Prep over The First Academy-Leesburg
Mount Dora Christian Academy over Melbourne Florida Prep
Lake Mary Prep over Lakeland Victory Christian
Orlando Central Florida Christian Academy over Orlando Faith Christian
Miami Schoolhouse Prep over Miami Hebrew Academy
Lake Worth Christian over Delray Village Academy
Hialeah Champagnat over Miami Christian
Boca Raton Grandview Prep over Hollywood Avant Garde Academy
District Upsets: Only a couple of district tourney upsets took place. Somerset Prep’s playoff run in the District 12 tourney earned them a higher ranking, knocking higher-rated Jupiter Christian out of the eight seed. Miami Country Day’s surprise District 14 title and Palmer Trinity’s semi-final win District 16 knocked #34 Somerset Academy Silver Palms out of regional contention.
Toughest Region: Region 4 with #1 Santa Fe Catholic, #5 St. Andrew’s, #4 Westminster Academy and #6 Calvary Christian means some very good teams won’t see the Lakeland Center.
Best Opening Matchup: #10 Master’s on the road at #11 Florida High is very intriguing. Master’s has some quality senior guards while Florida High is loaded with underclassmen talent. Also, Tampa Prep at Calvary Christian has the looks of a solid contest. Tampa Prep has the better ranking but Calvary is at home and has played a more demanding schedule.
Best Chance of an Upset: Canterbury of Fort Myers has a higher ranking and better strength of schedule than host Bradenton Christian. That could be an upset special. No doubt Providence is looking to exact revenge on a P.K. Yonge program that knocked them out of the playoffs last year. Finally, Florida Christian on the road at surprise district winner Miami Country Day has the visitors looking very strong by comparison.
Jacksonville Jackson over Tallahassee Maclay
Gainesville P.K. Yonge over Jacksonville Providence
Tallahassee Florida High over Oviedo The Master’s Academy
Windermere Prep over Orlando The First Academy
Community School of Naples over Clearwater Central Catholic
Clearwater Calvary Christian over Tampa Prep
Bradenton Christian over Fort Myers Canterbury
Tampa Berkeley Prep over Seffner Christian
Lakeland Sante Fe Catholic over North Lauderdale Somerset Prep
Fort Lauderdale Calvary Christian over Melbourne Holy Trinity
Boca Raton St. Andrew’s over Weston Sagemont
Fort Lauderdale Westminster Academy over West Palm Beach Cardinal Newman
Hollywood Chaminade over Miami Palmer Trinity
Miami Florida Christian over Miami Country Day
Miami Westminster Christian over Miami Ransom Everglades
Miami Riviera Prep over Doral Divine Savior Academy