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Boys Basketball

Friday sports schedule

Bob Putnam



What to watch

Boys basketball

East Lake (10-0) at Carrollwood Day (10-1), 7

The Eagles, ranked No. 1 in the state in Class 6A by MaxPreps, is playing its first game in a week. The Patriots, meanwhile, have gone through plenty of tests this week, beating Calvary Christian and knocking off defending Class 2A state semifinalist Bayshore Christian. 

Boys soccer 

Tampa Prep (11-1-3) at Tampa Catholic (16-2), 6

Both teams were in last week’s Tampa Bay Invitational but did not face each other. The defenses should dominate in this one 

Girls basketball

East Lake (14-1) at Clearwater (13-4), 7

The winner has the inside track of representing the North Division in the Pinellas County Athletic Conference championship game. 

The schedules

Boys basketball

Bell Creek Academy at Grace Christian, 5:30

Osceola at Shorecrest, 6

Northside Christian at Lakeside Christian, 6:30

Wesley Chapel at Land O’ Lakes, 6:30

Freedom at Wiregrass Ranch, 6:30

East Lake at Carrollwood Day, 7

Gulf at Academy at the Lakes, 7

East Bay at Tampa Bay Tech, 7

Jesuit at Robinson, 7

Clearwater Central Catholic at Sarasota Cardinal Mooney, 7

Sunlake at Mitchell, 7:30

Pasco at Zephyrhills, 7:30

Springstead ar Weeki Wachee, 7:30

Boca Ciega at Countryside, 7:30

CFCA at Calvary Christian, 7:30

Gibbs at Sarasota Booker, 7:30

Lakeland Christian at Seffner Christian, 7:30

Land O’ Lakes Christian at Ruskin Christian, 7:30

Citrus at Central, 7:30

Oldsmar Christian at Lakeland Santa Fe Catholic, 7:30

Cambridge Christian at Berkeley Prep, 7:30

Elfers Christian at West Hernando Christian, 7:30

Nature Coast at Hernando, 7:30

Keswick Christian at Zephyrhills Christian, 7:30

Clearwater at Largo, 7:45

Tarpon Springs at Northeast, 7:45

Anclote at Dunedin, 7:45

Lakewood at Bishop McLaughlin, 7:45

Cypress Creek at Palm Harbor University, 7:45

Jefferson at Blake, 8

Sumner at Middleton, 8

Spoto at Chamberlain, 8

Bloomingdale at King, 8

Brandon at Hillsborough, 8

Plant at Newsome, 8

Alonso at Sickles, 8

Kissimmee Osceola at Tampa Catholic, 8

Wharton at Steinbrenner, 8

Lakeside Christian at Northside Christian, 8

Boys soccer

Cambridge Christian at North Tampa Christian Academy, 3

Hollins at St. Petersburg Catholic, 4

Hernando Christian Academy at Lakeside Christian Academy, 4

Seffner Christian at Academy at the Lakes, 4

Cambridge Christian at Keswick Christian, 5:30

Tampa Prep at Tampa Catholic, 6

Central at Wesley Chapel, 6

Gibbs at Anclote, 6:30

Indian Rocks Christian at Berkeley Prep, 7

Cambridge Christian at Northside Christian, 7

Carrollwood Day at Clearwater Central Catholic, 7

Clearwater at Dunedin, 8

Calvary Christian at Largo, 8

Boca Ciega at Seminole, 8

Land O’ Lakes at Mitchell, 8

The Villages at River Ridge, 8

Girls basketball

Bell Creek Academy at Grace Christian, 4

Sarasota at Countryside, 4:30

Hernando Christian at Classical Prep, 5

Bradenton Southeast at Seffner Christian, 6

Lakeland Christian at Cambridge Christian, 6

Land O’ Lakes at Ruskin Christian, 6

Tarpon Springs at Calvary Christian, 6

Gaither at Sunlake, 6

Lakeside Christian at Northside Christian, 6

Central at Citrus, 6:30

Plant at Newsome, 6:30

Zephyrhills at Cypress Creek, 6:30

Sumner at Middleton, 6:30

Jefferson at Blake, 6:30

Bloomingdale at King, 6:30

Lennard at Riverview, 6:30

Elfers Christian at West Hernando Christian, 6:30

Wesley Chapel at Tampa Catholic, 6:30

Spoto at Chamberlain, 6:30

Brandon at Hillsborough, 6:30

Alonso at Sickles, 6:30

Gibbs at Osceola, 7

East Lake at Clearwater, 7

Pasco at Anclote, 7

Zephyrhills at Cypress Creek, 7:30

Boca Ciega at St. Petersburg Catholic, 7:30

Lakeland Santa Fe Catholic at Lakewood, 7:30

Girls soccer

Hollins at St. Petersburg Catholic, 2

Carrollwood Day at Seffner Christian, 4

Largo at Indian Rocks Christian, 5

Bell Creek Academy at Winter Haven All Saints, 5

Berkeley Prep at Bradenton Saint Stephen’s, 5:30

Sunlake at Ocala Trinity Catholic, 6

St. Petersburg at Palm Harbor University, 6

Clearwater at Dunedin, 6

Tarpon Springs at Countryside, 6

Boca Ciega at Seminole, 6

Gibbs at Hudson, 6

Nature Coast at Fivay, 6:30

Anclote at Zephyrhills, 7

Sumner at Newsome, 7

Wiregrass Ranch at Academy of the Holy Names, 7:30

Wesley Chapel at Hernando, 7:30

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Boys Basketball

Sharp’s shooting leads to Bishop McLaughlin to 3A state final

Bob Putnam



Bishop McLaughlin’s burgeoning athletic program has already done some impressive things this school year. In the fall, the volleyball team reached the state semifinals and the football program played for a state title as an independent. 

On Wednesday, it was the boys basketball that had the spotlight. 

The Hurricanes, who won just two games last season, made a memorable playoff debut by reaching the state semifinals for the first time. 

When it came to postseason experience, Bishop McLaughlin was at a serious disadvantage in its matchup with Jacksonville Andrew Jackson. 

The Tigers were in the semifinals for the third straight season and were motivated to get to the championship game after losing in the finals the past two seasons. They had 10 returning players accustomed to being on basketball’s biggest stage. 

Still, the Hurricanes had something better.

They had Emanuel Sharp.

Sharp, the Class 5A state player of the year when he was at Blake last season, was among several high-profile transfers who made Bishop McLaughlin’s turnaround possible. 

Sharp took those honors because of ability to pile on the points. 

And that is just what the junior guard in the semifinals, finishing with 39 points to lead the Hurricanes to a 79-71 victory. Bishop McLaughlin will play the Fort Lauderdale Calvary Christian-Miami Country Day winner in Friday’s 3A title game

And that is just what the junior guard in the semifinals, finishing with 39 points to lead the Hurricanes to a 77-71 victory. Bishop McLaughlin will play the Fort Lauderdale Calvary Christian-Miami Country Day winner in Friday’s 3A title game.

From the start, Sharp dominated. He threw down emphatic dunks. He stepped back and hit NBA-range 3-pointers. He knocked down free throws.

More importantly, he rarely missed, an impressive feat for someone making his state semifinal debut. 

The vastness of Lakeland’s RP Funding Center, site of the tournament, can create problems with depth perception on long-range shots. Typically, area teams that make it there schedule a practice at USF or Eckerd College to get used to playing in a bigger arena.

Trouble was, no team was able to practice elsewhere because of the pandemic. 

That did not faze Sharp. 

He missed just two shots in the first half, going 7-of-9 in field goals and hitting all 12 of his free throw attempts. His 28 points led all scorers and helped the Hurricanes go into the half with a 38-23 lead.

Sharp’s shooting touch cooled off. He made just one of his six field goal attempts in the second half. But his first half performance — and his ability to hit some clutch free throws (21-of-22 overall from the line) — was more than enough to lead the Hurricanes into the final. 

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Boys Basketball

Boys basketball: Class 3A state semifinal preview

Bob Putnam



Boys basketball state semifinals

All games at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland.  Admission is $10 in advance, $13 on the day of the event. Parking is $10.

Class 3A

Bishop McLaughlin (21-6) vs. Jacksonville Andrew Jackson (19-6), 2

How they got here: Bishop McLaughlin d. Calvary Christian 62-48, d. Carrollwood Day 84-66, d. Fort Myers Canterbury 47-42. Andrew Jackson d. Florida State University 82-65, d. Jacksonville Bishop Snyder 58-37, d. Winter Park Trinity Prep 69-47. 

Top players: Bishop McLaughlin: G Emanuel Sharp, Jr. (23.6 points, 4.2 assists, 1.8 steals per game); F/G Dillon Mitchell, Jr.(18.0 points, 10.6 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 2.0 blocks per game); F/G Anthony Davis Jr., Jr. (12.1 points, 4.3 rebounds per game). Andrew Jackson: F/G Bryce Turner, Sr. (9.1 points, 5.6 rebounds per game); C Stephon Payne, Jr. (6.6 points, 6.0 rebounds per game); F Davin Daniels, Sr. (6.2 points, 5.3 rebounds, 3.6 assists per game). 

Outlook: Bishop McLaughlin, which won two games last season, made its playoff debut last with its first state semifinal appearance. The Hurricanes did while playing all three regional games on the road. Emanuel Sharp, the Class 5A state player of the year at Blake last season, arrived this year and has been the go-to guy-averaging a team-high 23.6 points per game. Dillon Mitchell, a four-star recruit, came from Sickles and has been an inside force for Bishop McLaughlin. The advantage in experience goes to Andrew Jackson, which is making its third straight state semifinal appearance. The Tigers are motivated, especially after losing in the state title game the past two seasons. It is a veteran team with 10 returning players from last year’s squad. 

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Boys Basketball

The PTP boys basketball players of the week

Bob Putnam



The fans’ pick

G Juan Arias, Sr., Brandon Academy

Brandon Academy’s nascent boys basketball program has made significant strides. After going winless in an abbreviated varsity schedule during the 2017-18 season, the Scorpions steadily improved, culminating with their first playoff appearance this year. 

Juan Arias was the catalyst for that postseason push. The veteran averaged 11.6 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. Last month, he set the school record for points in a game with 36. 

Two weeks ago, he had 16 points and 12 rebounds to lead Brandon Academy to its first playoff win against Academy at the Lakes. 

Fans were impressed. Arias received more than 46 percent of the vote (703) to beat out Wiregrass Ranch’s Joshua Wilson, who had 35 percent (503 votes).

The PTP picks

G Joshua Martin, Jr., Wiregrass Ranch: Led the Bulls with 29 points in a win over St. Petersburg, the first playoff victory for Wiregrass Ranch in a decade. 

F Joe Pesansky, Sr., Jesuit: The two-sport star dominated down low, finishing with 29 points and seven rebounds to lead the Tigers’ impressive comeback against Clearwater.

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