24 Feb 2021

Class 2A-3 Region Semi-Final: Mount Dora Christian at Central Florida Christian

We headed a few minutes down the road from the Source Hoops Chalet to take in a top ten match-up in Class 2A.  In a re-match of the District 10 final, #7 Mount Dora Christian Academy (MDCA) took on #2 Central Florida Christian Academy (CFCA).  The winner would get a shot to de-throne #1 Orlando Christian Prep in the regional final, spoiling OCP’s perfect season (so far).

MDCA opened the scoring with a transition basket from senior star Rodney Bryant.  CFCA got on the board a couple of possessions later after a steal and score by Nick Rodriguez.  A three from MDCA’s K’von Ragin was answered with one from Antonio Redding.  Midway thru the opening quarter, the 5-5 tie stood.  The pace for both teams picked up from there.  Bryant hit a three for MDCA but CFCA responded with a driving basket from Rodriguez and a lob to Jamar Houston gave CFCA its first lead at 9-8.  Redding of CFCA upped that lead after dropping in a three.  Bryant hit a free throw to get MDCA back on the board but Tavian Jones answered with a pair of free throws to make the score 14-9 in favor of CFCA.  Isaiah Bryant hit a three for MDC to get within two but a bit later a steal and score by Jones pushed the CFCA lead back to four.  Ragin scored inside for MDCA to end the quarter with CFCA up by just two, 16-14.

That’s when things went downhill for MDCA.

CFCA began the second quarter with a 9-2 run.  Rodriguez scored on a drive, and after K.J. Rodriguez of MDCA put back a missed shot, Immanuel Zorgval connected on two free throws, Houston hit a three and Zorgval put back a miss.  Now with four minutes left in the period, CFCA led by eleven at 27-16.  From that point on, the teams played evenly.  MDCA had gotten to within nine on a mid-range jumper from Bryant but a three by Houston beat the halftime horn and CFCA carried a 34-22 lead into the locker room.

The CFCA surge continued in the third quarter.  The Eagles outscored MDCA 11-5 over the first four minutes of the third period.  Rodriguez had nine of those eleven points as he scored on a pair of drives, knocked down a mid-range jumper and later connected on a three-pointer.  Now the margin was eighteen, 45-27, and MDCA looked in serious trouble.  By the end of the third quarter, CFCA was up 56-35 and MDCA’s top player, Rodney Bryant, was saddled with four fouls.

CFCA maintained a 20+ point lead throughout the final quarter.  Bryant fouled out with two minutes left and the senior received an ovation from both sets of fans for his stellar career at MDCA.  Both teams emptied their benches with two minutes remaining.  When it was all over, CFCA advanced to the regional final with a 72-55 win.

Four players scored in double-figures for CFCA.  Rodriguez led the way with 17 points.  Jones added 14 points while Zorgval tallied 13 points and Houston contributed 12 points.

For MDCA, Bryant led all scorers with 19 points.  Virgil finished with 17 points.

It will be a matchup of #1 OCP vs. #2 CFCA on Friday for the chance to go to Lakeland.



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