District Upsets: Palatka’s early loss in the District 4 tournament allowed Marianna to slide into the eighth seed in Region 1. Likewise, Port Orange’s Atlantic’s early loss in District 6 allowed McKeel out of Lakeland to slide into the #7 slot in Region 2. Anclote was out of the playoff picture in Region 3 but won the District 10 tournament. That bumped the district’s top seed, Hudson, out of the playoffs. Keys Gate from Homestead was out early in the District 16 tourney. This allowed Hallandale to slip into the #8 spot in Region 4.
Toughest Region: Region Four in South Florida clearly has the better grouping of teams, with the classification’s #1, #4, #5 and #6 teams. As much as we believe that Calvary Christian of Fort Lauderdale is a huge favorite in the class, their close game against district rival North Broward Prep proves they won’t just waltz in and blow people away.
Best Opening Matchup: Cardinal Gibbons hosting U-School down in Fort Lauderdale is a district rematch that will offer plenty of intrigue. If the Miami Killian team shows up in full force and plays they way they did with only six players in a win at the MLK I Have A Dream Challenge last month, they will give North Broward Prep all they can handle.
Best Chance for an Upset: Truthfully, there just doesn’t seem to be one. Outside of North Broward Prep, all of the home teams are higher ranked than their Thursday opponents. Not a lot of drama in this round.
Jacksonville Jackson over Marianna
Alachua Santa Fe over Gadsden County
Jacksonville Paxon School over North Marion
Panama City Bay over Panama City North Bay Haven Academy
Orlando Lake Highland Prep over Cocoa
Lake Alfred Discovery over Deltona Pine Ridge
Satellite Beach Satellite over Lakeland McKeel Academy
The Villages Charter over Melbourne Palm Bay
St. Petersburg Gibbs over Bushnell South Sumter
Holiday Anclote over Parrish Community
Brooksville Central over St. Petersburg Lakewood
Port Charlotte over Sebring
Fort Lauderdale Calvary Christian over Hallandale
North Broward Prep over Miami Killian
Miami Mater Lakes over Miami St. Brendan
Cardinal Gibbons over University School
District Upsets: Choctaw’s run to the final in District One gave them enough to put them in the playoffs and keep Green Cove Springs Clay out in Region One. Tampa Jesuit was slated to be the top seed in Region Two if they had won their district tournament. However, they lost to King and now slip to a fifth seed. That win by King kept Orlando’s Bishop Moore out of the playoff hunt. In the bay area, #4 seed Osceola’s surprising run to the district title knocked out Naples Golden Gate. Down south in Region Four, Eau Gallie’s run to the district final gave them enough “cred” to oust Plantation American Heritage from the eighth and final spot in region play.
Toughest Region: Teams ranked #2, #3, #6, #8 and #9 all will battle for the Region Four title and a trip to the Final Four. It would be quite entertaining if two of the top coaches in the state, Melvin Randall of Miami Northwestern and Lawton Williams of Norland were to meet up in the region semis.
Best Opening Matchup: Miami Northwestern, ranked #9, hits the road to take on #6 Rockledge. Both teams have been some of the biggest surprises this season. Rockledge is a tough place to play but Melvin Ely will have Northwestern ready.
Best Chance for an Upset: It isn’t far fetched to see Clearwater winning on the road at Naples Barron Collier. Also, the Springstead at Leesburg matchup is a replay of last weeks district final. No doubt Springstead will have extra motivation after losing on their homecourt.
Jacksonville Riverside over Choctaw
Daytona Beach Mainland over Tallahassee Godby
Orange Park over Jacksonville Ribault
Pensacola Pine Forest over Tallahassee Rickards
Orlando Jones over Kissimmee Gateway
Tampa Jesuit over Zephyrhills
Leesburg over Springstead
Tampa King over Auburndale
St. Petersburg over Seminole
Bradenton Southeast over Osceola
Punta Gorda Charlotte over Cape Coral Mariner
Naples Barron Collier over Clearwater
Fort Lauderdale Stranahan over Melbourne Eau Gallie
Miami Belen Jesuit over Riviera Beach Suncoast
Miami Norland over Okeechobee
Rockledge over Miami Northwestern