27 Feb 2018

Regional Semis Preview: Classes 8A & 9A


We righted the ship a little bit, going 12 up and 4 sunken battleships in our predictions.  We mentioned that an experienced Bartram Trail had the best chance for the upset and that proved to be correct.   What really floored us were the stunning upsets by Tampa Bay Tech and Riverdale on the road.  Finally Cooper City went down on the road after falling in their district tournament, a district they had dominated over the course of the season.  Mater Academy Charter’s 22 point win makes one wonder if Cooper City as overvalued all season long.

Best Matchup: Ely hits the road to visit Dwyer and we’ll find out a lot about both teams on Tuesday night.  Dwyer has suffered only one loss on the season and has won several games in dominant fashion.  Ely’s 19-8 record may not look imposing, but they play a tough schedule and are always ready come playoff time.  No question that the winner has the inside track on the Class 8A state title.

Best Chance for an Upset: Wharton has enough talent and tenacity to go on the road and beat a Winter Haven teams that has at time’s looked uninspired.  Granted, it took a three at the buzzer for Wharton to advance at home so one does wonder how they will fare at Winter Haven which no doubt will be filled to the rafters for this one.

Our Picks:

Tallahassee Lincoln over Tallahassee Leon

Creekside over Bartram Trail

Edgewater over Viera

Winter Haven over Wharton

St. Petersburg over Tampa Bay Tech

North Port over Riverdale

Dwyer over Ely

Mater Academy Charter over McArthur


A 12 up, 4 splats record in our predictions left us a bit melancholy.  Central Florida basketball proved how tough it is with West Orange and Boone winning on the road as district runners-up and Dr. Phillips winning down in Tampa quite convincingly.  Southwest squeaked by on the road by four points in what apparently was a pretty significant upset.  Some surprisingly close scores by favorites were North Miami’s one point win at home, Coral Springs two point home victory and undefeated Wellington needing Boca Raton’s last second three point attempt to fall short to extend their season.

Best Matchup: The Miramar/North Miami game tops the list in Class 9A.  Miramar will be at home but don’t expect North Miami to be intimidated.  Both teams have several seniors that want to extend their high school careers so this game should be intense for the full 32 minutes (and maybe more!).

Best Chance for an Upset: Undefeated Wellington has a tough one at home against an Atlantic that has had its share of struggles this season but seems to be hitting their stride at just the right time.  Atlantic’s strength of schedule is surprisingly much higher and they will need that experience if they are to survive and advance on the road.

Our Picks:

Sanford Seminole over Deland

Boone over West Orange

Oak Ridge over Dr. Phillips

Osceola over Treasure Coast

Wellington over Atlantic

Coral Springs over Deerfield

Miramar over North Miami

South Miami over Southwest