The Sunshine Independent Athletic Association is holding its state tournament this weekend at Daytona State College. The first semi-final featured West Oaks Academy out of Orlando taking on Bradenton Victory Rock Prep. The nightcap featured Kissimmee Central Pointe Christian Academy vs The Rock School from Gainesville.
West Oaks vs Victory Rock
The first half of this contest was a back-and-forth affair with neither team gaining more than a six-point advantage at any one time. Victory Rock got on top first and led 9-5 after the first three-and-one-half minutes of play, forcing a West Oaks timeout. West Oaks regrouped and by the ten-minute mark had taken a 16-14 lead. West Oaks led by three at the nine-minute media timeout but Victory Rock seized momentum to lead by four, 25-21, with four minutes left in the half. By the time the horn sounded, Victory Rock led by just two at 36-34.
The second half continued to find both teams locked in a back-and-forth battle. The score was tied at 40-40 after the first four minutes. Moving forward, with the score tied at 51-51, R.J. Moore of West Oaks converted a three-point play. After a Victory Rock miss, Maurice Odom hit a three for West Oaks to give them a six point advantage. Markwan Adams dropped in two free throws for Victory Rock, but Odom extended the West Oaks lead with another three. Bronson Borlace of Victory Rock scored inside to get to within five, but Odom hit another three then scored off a steal in transition to push the West Oaks lead to ten at 65-55. West Oaks continued to build its lead from there and with four minutes remaining led “comfortably” 79-63. However, in the SIAA with talented teams and a shot clock, no lead is truly safe until the game is over. Victory Rock Prep got the lead down to eight late on a couple of occasions, but West Oaks was able to fend off the Blue Devils to win 87-77.
Odom of West Oaks was electric in scoring 44 points, hitting nine threes in the process. Moore added 13 points for the Flames.
For Victory Rock, Borlace led the way with 20 points while Adams added 19 and Dylan Sanders contributed 16 points.
Central Pointe vs The Rock
As opposed to the previous game’s first half competitiveness, Central Pointe jumped out to a big lead early and looked like the game might end quickly. The White Tigers led 18-6 after the first five minutes, forcing a timeout by the Lions. At the nine-minute media timeout, the lead had grown to fifteen at 28-13. At that point, The Rock put on an 8-0 run to get to within seven at 28-21. The comeback didn’t last long. Central Point outscored the Lions 17-6 the rest of the half to lead 45-27. It was hard to imagine a scenario where The Rock would make a comeback.
The Rock got on a roll to start the second half, outscoring Central Pointe 15-8 to draw within eleven at 53-42, forcing a timeout by the White Tigers. The Rock run continued after the time out with a 13-5 spurt that brought the Lions to within three, 58-55, with 10:30 left in the contest, forcing another Central Point timeout. A three-point play by Sammie Yeanay of The Rock tied the score at 55-55. By the time the under nine-minute media timeout rolled around, The Rock was up 65-62. The Rock continued to grow its lead and with five minutes remaining led 76-69. It looked like the wheels had completely fallen off for Central Point, but again, this is the SIAA, with talented players and a shot clock. The White Tigers would use judicious fouling to stop the clock and get the ball back, as well as force some Rock turnovers. Within three minutes, the gap was just four points at 81-77 and with two minutes to play, it was anybody’s ball game. However, that four-point margin was as close as Central Pointe would get and The Rock concluded a stunning comeback, winning by the score of 93-89.
Yeanay led The Rock with 22 points while Evan Sterck added 20, Moses Horne contributed 17 and Dallas Jones added 11 points.
For Central Point, Mykol Sanchez led all scorers with 27 points. Gora Niang added 21 while Prince Ebwea tossed in 13 points.