17 Feb 2021

First Round Region Previews: Class 6A & 7A


District Upsets: There certainly were a lot of surprises in the sixteen district playoffs last week in Class 6A.  In District 1, not only did #4 Milton oust #1 Pace, #6 Tate took our #3 Navarre, #2 Crestview, and Milton to win the district title.  In District 3, #3 Fletcher took out #2 First Coast in the semis.  It was #3 St. Cloud taking out # Melbourne in the District 5 semis.  In District 6, #3 Winter Haven toppled #2 Edgewater in the semis.  Over in Tampa, #6 Mitchell took out #3 Freedom in the quarter final round.  In District 10, #3 Largo ousted #2 Dixie Hollins in the semis while down in Naples’ District 12, #3 Dunbar bounced #2 Palmetto Ridge.  In South Florida, #3 Olympic Heights downed #2 South Fork in the semis while in District 14, #4 St. Thomas ousted #1 South Plantation in the semis and #3 Dillard got past #2 Ely in the semis as well.

Toughest Region:  Region three features four top ten teams in the eight team field.  East Lake is #1 while #5 St. Pete, #7 Lehigh and #8 Charlotte are serious competitors.  Lehigh and Charlotte meet Thursday night, so one top ten will not advance.

Best Opening Matchup: The Lehigh/Charlotte match-up is the closest on paper.  Charlotte had defeated Lehigh already this season and Charlotte is likely still seething from losing the district final in OT to Fort Myers.  Fleming Island at Forest should also be solid.  Both teams are ranked in the top twenty.

Best Chance for an Upset: There are a few upset opportunities for Thursday.  While Columbia is ranked #15, it still has a long road to Pensacola to play what appears to be a very “hot” Tate squad.  #20 Fleming Island, on the road at #14 Forest is definitely ripe for an upset.  Fleming Island plays the type of game that could give Forest fits should they fall behind.  While neither are ranked, Winter Haven defeating Viera on the road is in the realm of possibility.  Plant City and Doral, both ranked, go on the road to play unranked opponents.  It wouldn’t surprise if the road team won in either instance.

Our Picks:

Tate over Columia

Lincoln over Milton

Fletcher over Mainland

Forest over Fleming Island

Winter Haven over Viera

Bartow over St. Cloud

Kathleen over Bloomingdale

Hillsborough over Plant City

East Lake over Largo

St. Petersburg over Wiregrass Ranch

Fort Myers over Dunbar

Charlotte over Lehigh

Martin County over St. Thomas Aquinas

Dillard over Olympic Heights

Doral Academy over North Miami

Mater Academy over McArthur


District Upsets: It wasn’t easy being the #2 seed in the various district tournaments in Class 7A.  Six of the sixteen lost in the semis.  This biggest surprise was #4 Oakleaf taking out the #1 seed in District 1, Nease.  In District 2, #3 Lake Mary ousted #2 Spruce Creek.  #3 Dwyer toppled #2 Centennial in the District 9 semis. In District 11, #3 Lake Worth took down #2 Spanish River.  #3 Cypress Bay ousted #2 Cooper City in the District 13 semis.  In district 15, #3 Columbus vanquished #2 Southwest in the semis.  Finally, in District 16, #3 Ferguson ousted #2 Braddock in the semis.

Toughest Region: In Region 2, all eight participants are ranked in the top twenty, five in the top ten.  It starts with #1 Oakridge and settles at #20 Boone.  No matter who comes out of the region, they will have faced a grind that should prepare them well for the final four in Lakeland.

Best Opening Matchup: By the numbers, it should be #10 Durant and #9 Alonso.  Another intriguing game is #21 Wellington on the road at Vero Beach.

Best Chance for an Upset:  Surprisingly, there aren’t that many to choose from.  #4 Olympia has to go on the road to play unranked Orlando University, but is that an upset if the road team wins in that one? We definitely expect Wharton and Wellington to be tough outs on the road.  Other than that, it seems like the home teams should be heavily favored.

Our Picks:

Bartram Trail over Lake Mary

Seminole over Oakleaf

Dr. Phillips over Oviedo

Olympia over University

Oak Ridge over Osceola

Windermere over Boone

Alonso over Durant

Riverview over Wharton

Vero Beach over Wellington

Forest Hill over Dwyer

Lake Worth over Coral Springs

Monarch over Santaluces

Western over Everglades

Miramar over Cypress Bay

Coral Gables over Palmetto

Columbus over Ferguson


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