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Girls basketball region semifinal recap

Bob Putnam

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Scoreboard

Class 7A

Plant 52, Sarasota Riverview 26

Class 6A

Palmetto 63, Wiregrass Ranch 61

Armwood 66, Lakeland George Jenkins 49

Class 5A

Clearwater 54, Jefferson 34

Class 4A

Lakewood 44, Cocoa 35

Class 3A

Brooks DeBartolo 58, Carrollwood Day 56

Sarasota Cardinal Mooney 53, St. Petersburg Catholic 48

Class 2A

Hernando Christian 71, Foundation Christian 46

Prime time performers

C Da’Nasia Albritton, Jr., Lakewood: Had 14 points, 10 rebounds and five blocked shots in a win over Cocoa.

G Ka’Yanti Burden, Sr., St. Petersburg Catholic: Led the Barons with 19 points and 11 rebounds in a loss to Sarasota Cardinal Mooney. 

G Maraya Cheek, So., Armwood: Scored 18 points in a win over Lakeland George Jenkins. 

F Kendal Cheesman, Sr., Plant: Had 17 points and nine rebounds in a win over Sarasota Riverview.

G Nilah Coleman, Sr., Lakewood: Finished with 11 points, eight rebounds and six steals in a win over Cocoa.

F/G Liv Fuller, So., Clearwater: Finished with 10 rebounds and eight points in a win over Jefferson. 

G Amarie Godwin, Sr., Brooks DeBartolo: Scored 13 points, including the winning basketball with seconds remaining to lead the Phoenix past defending 3A state champion Carrollwood Day.

F Tavi’yanna Habib, Sr., Armwood: Had a team-high 24 points to lead the Hawks past Lakeland George Jenkins. 

G Beckham Hockley, Fr., Clearwater: Scored a team-high 20 points to go along with four assists and two steals in a win over Jefferson. 

G Zanaliyah Hutchinson, Sr., Jefferson: Finished with a team-high 18 points in a loss to Clearwater. 

G Nyla Jean, Sr., Plant: Recorded 13 points and 10 assists in a win over Sarasota Riverview.  

F/C Allie Logue, Jr., Plant: Came up big on the bounds, finishing with a team-high 12 rebounds in a win over Sarasota Riverview.  

G Brionna McClinton, Sr., Brooks DeBartolo: Scored a team-high 18 points in a win over Carrollwood Day. 

G Milhanie Perry, Carrollwood Day: Scored a team-high 14 points in a loss to Brooks DeBartolo.  

G Sincere Robinson, Jr., Lakewood: Finished with 10 points and five steals in a win over Cocoa.

G Ace Sturdivant, So., Clearwater: Had 11 points, four assists and three steals in a win over Jefferson. 

C Kyleigh Welsh, Jr., Clearwater: Recorded nine rebounds and seven blocked shots in a win over Jefferson. 

Friday’s region finals

Games start at 7 unless noted

Class 7A

Oak Ridge at Plant

Class 6A

Winter Haven at Armwood

Class 5A

Clearwater at Naples Barron Collier

Class 4A

Lakewood at Fort Pierce Lincoln Park Academy

Class 3A

Brooks DeBartolo at West Palm Beach Benjamin

Class 2A

Hernando Christian at Naples First Baptist

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Boys Basketball

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

Bob Putnam

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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

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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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Tuesday night rewind: Softball

Bob Putnam

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Scoreboard

Sickles 5, Mitchell 0

Boca Ciega 7, Northeast 5

Brooks DeBartolo 5, Hernando Christian 4

Berkeley Prep 16, Admiral Farragut 1

Land O’ Lakes 13, Tarpon Springs 1

Seminole 4, Countryside 0

Hernando 11, Springstead 1

Lakeside Christian 16, Keswick Christian 3

Sumner 15, Blake 0

Newsome 9, Lennard 1

Osceola 5, Clearwater 1

Calvary Christian 17, Clearwater Central Catholic 0

St. Petersburg Catholic 7, Cambridge Christian 2

Gaither 18, Armwood 0

River Ridge 16, Fivay 0

Robinson 11, Riverview 3

East Lake 7, St. Petersburg 1

Sickles 4, Mitchell 0

Weeki Wachee 15, Central 5

Plant 11, Wharton 10

Nature Coast 12, Crystal River 0

Sunlake 17, Gulf 0

Wiregrass Ranch 19, Tampa Bay Tech 2

Wesley Chapel 17, Bishop McLaughlin 0

Prime time performers

3B/P/SS DaNia Brooks, So., Sickles: Led the Gryphons on offense by going 2-for-3 with a double and two RBIs in a win over Mitchell. 

SS Brooke Blankenship, Sr., River Ridge: Went 3-for-3 with two doubles and two RBIs in a win over Fivay. 

3B Julia Diecidue, Sr., Berkeley Prep: Went 2-for-3 with a grand slam homer in a win over Admiral Farragut. 

SS/3B Bri Duggins, Sr., Plant: Finished 4-for-4 in a win over Wharton. 

CF/INF/P Kendra Falby, Sr., Sunlake: Led the Seahawks by going 3-for-3 with two RBIs in a win over Gulf. 

P/OF Kaitlyn Felton, Sr., Newsome: Threw four scoreless innings, allowing five hits and striking out seven in a win over Lennard. 

P/3B Alexa Grande, Sr., St. Petersburg Catholic: Threw a complete game and recorded nine strikeouts in a win over Cambridge Christian. 

P/1B Mikayla Haschak, Sr., Sunlake: Struck out all six batters she faced in a win over Gulf. 

3B/1B Jordan Herring, Sr., Boca Ciega: Went 2-for-3 with three RBIs in a win over Northeast.

P/1B Robyn Herron, Jr., Sickles: Threw a one-hit shutout with 16 strikeouts in a win over Mitchell.  

SS/C Leah Jarnac, Sr., Calvary Christian: Went 2-for-4 with four RBIs in a win over 

C/OF/1B Abbee Klinefelter, So., Clearwater: Finished 2-for-2 in a loss to Osceola. 

C/3B Kadence Means, Jr., Wesley Chapel: Hit a grand slam in a win over Bishop McLaughlin. 

C/3B/SS Madison Moran, Sr., Weeki Wachee: Went 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI in a win over Central. 

P/INF Mariah Rivera, Sr., Osceola: Hit her third homer of the season in a win over Clearwater. 

P/1B/OF Jordan Sheets, Jr., River Ridge: Threw a three-inning no-hitter and recorded four strikeouts in a win over Gulf. 

3B/OF/P Gracie Stanley, Sr., Land O’ Lakes: Went 2-for-4 at the plate and combined with Mia Fields and Aliana Mercado for a no-hitter on the mound in a win over Tarpon Springs. 

UTIL Hannah Taylor, So., Hernando: Went 2-for-3 with two RBIs in a win over Springstead. 

SS Tieley Vaughn, Sr., Wharton: Led the Wildcats by going 4-for-5 with a triple and an RBI in a loss to Plant. 

OF Samantha Walz, So., Newsome: Finished 5-for-5 with a triple and two RBIs in a win over Lennard. 

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