We went a gleaming 14-2 in our picks for the first round. We came very close to going 15-1, but give Deltona Pine Ridge credit for going on the road and surviving a tough FOUR OT game against Discovery down in Lake Alfred and winning by four. On the flip side, Parrish simple overwhelmed their opponent on the road to win by a whopping twenty-four points.
Best Matchup: How could it be anything but Fort Lauderdale Calvary Christian vs North Broward Prep, round two? Nationally ranked Calvary needed a near-last second bucket to win the district tournament by two points. No doubt the gym will be filled up. If you are not their right now, you may be too late. Outside of that contest and for some unknown reason, The Villages on the road at Satellite is intriguing. Satellite sports an impressive 25-2 record and are ranked #8 in the classification. However, most of their games have been inside Brevard county while The Villages has ventured out some as well as hosted their own high-profile Christmas tournament.
Best Chance for an Upset: Looking over the schedule, it is really tough to find any upset candidates. Maybe Port Charlotte beats Brooksville Central on the road? Not really feeling it.
Jacksonville Jackson over Alachua Santa Fe
Jacksonville Paxon School over Panama City Bay
Orlando Lake Highland Prep over Deltona Pine Ridge
Satellite Beach Satellite over The Villages Charter
St. Pete Gibbs over Parrish Community
Brooksville Central over Port Charlotte
Fort Lauderdale Calvary Christian over North Broward Prep
Miami Mater Lakes Academy over Fort Lauderdale Cardinal Gibbons
We were 13-3 overall in our picks and our losses were very close. Godby went to Daytona and won by three. Ribault pulled off a big surprise in beating #2 seen Orange Park by six. Finally, a resurgent Miami Northwestern squad travelled a long way to Rockledge to take down the Raiders by a mere two points.
Best Matchup: It just HAS to be #3 Miami Norland playing host to #9 Miami Northwestern. Depending on how old you are this is a Dean Smith/Bobby Knight or Coach Cal vs Coach K matchup. Both Lawton Williams of Norland and Melvin Randall of Northwestern are not just special coaches but special people and anytime they can be matched on the sidelines is a good thing. You could probably play this game as a lead-in to a Miami Heat game, pack American Airlines Arena, and still see a hefty number of people head home before the NBA game tips off.
Best Chance for an Upset: Tampa Jesuit plays a methodical style that top seed Jones doesn’t see often, if at all. Yes, Jones will have the advantage when it comes to athletes but Jesuit is capable of putting on a clinic and leaving Jones home early.
Jacksonville Riverside over Tallahassee Godby
Pensacola Pine Forest over Jacksonville Ribault
Orlando Jones over Tampa Jesuit
Leesburg over Tampa King
St. Petersburg over Bradenton Southeast
Punta Gorda Charlotte over Naples Barron Collier
Fort Lauderdale Stranahan over Miami Belen Jesuit.
Miami Norland over Miami Northwestern