Boys basketball region quarterfinal preview

All games start at 7 unless noted

Class 7A

Durant (22-5) at Alonso (20-5) 

This is a rematch from a regular season game the Ravens won 66-57. Alonso rebounded from a two-game losing streak at the end of the regular season to win the Class 7A, District 7 tournament. The Cougars had their 10-game win snapped with a loss to Sarasota Riverview in the 7A-8 tournament final. 

Wharton (21-5) at Sarasota Riverview (20-6)

The Wildcats have a difficult matchup against the Rams, who are undefeated (6-0) against Hillsborough County teams this season.

Class 6A

Largo (11-10) at East Lake (24-1)

The Eagles, ranked No. 1 in 6A and 10th overall in the state by MaxPreps, are trying to reach the state semifinals for the second straight season. The first step is tonight when they take on Largo, a team East Lake beat by 22 points last month. 

Wiregrass Ranch (15-7) at St. Petersburg (17-5)

The Green Devils rebounded from a 1-6 stretch at the end of the regular season to win the 6A, District 10 title. The Bulls, meanwhile, went 9-2 down the stretch to make the playoffs as the 6A-9 runnerup. 

Bloomingdale (12-4) at Lakeland Kathleen (11-9)

After a 2-5 start, the Bulls turned things around to make the playoffs as the 6A-8 runnerup. They have done it with defense, holding each of their last five opponents to 45 points or less. 

Plant City (16-6) at Hillsborough (11-11)

This is a rematch from a game two weeks ago the Raiders won 71-69. In that regular season meeting, Plant City had a 12-point lead heading into the fourth quarter. The Terriers made a furious rally, scoring a whopping 37 points in the fourth, but the comeback fell short.  

Class 5A

Boca Ciega (11-8) at Blake (12-4)

Pirates coach Randy Shuman won his 600th game during the 5A-10 tournament. To keep the postseason run going, Boca Ciega has get past the Yellow Jackets, who are on a five-game win streak. 

Jesuit (22-4) at Clearwater (17-2)

The Tornadoes, ranked No. 5 in 5A by MaxPreps, reached the region final last season and are trying to take the next step and get to the final four. The Tigers had to sit their varsity squad during last week’s 5A-9 district tournament. The junior varsity squad played admirably, winning a semifinal game against Sumner before losing to Blake in the final. 

Land O’ Lakes (17-10) at Leesburg (13-4)

The Gators, who had their five-game win streak snapped with a loss to Fivay in the 5A-6 district final, travel to take on the Yellow Jackets, one of their premier programs in the state. 

Orlando Jones (10-13) at Fivay (22-2)

The season of superlatives continues for the Falcons. After recording its best regular season record in school history, Fivay went on to win its first district title at the 5A-6 tournament. And the Falcons have a good shot at extending their postseason debut for another game. 

Class 4A

Cocoa (11-12) at Tampa Catholic (18-6)

The Crusaders had to reload after graduating the bulk of last year’s roster. But the new faces, led by freshman guard Karter Knox, the younger brother of Tampa Catholic Kevin Knox, are playing well. In fact, the young lineup might be able to get the Crusaders back to the state semifinal for the sixth straight season. 

Central (14-12)  at Alachua Santa Fe (16-5), 7

The Bears are 3-1 this month, which helped push their record above .500 and make the playoffs as the 4A-6 runnerup. If the game is close, the Raiders have the edge. Three of their last four wins have been decided by four points or less. 

Wesley Chapel (20-7) at Lake Highland Prep (11-7), 7

The Wildcats have a tough task with a road to take on the Highlanders, who are ranked 10th in 4A and among the top 60 overall in the state by MaxPreps. 

Eustis (9-11) at Nature Coast (18-9), 7

After some mid-season struggles, the Sharks put it together at the right time last week. Nature Coast beat Hudson and Wesley Chapel at the 4A-6 tournament to win their eight district title in school history. That gives the Sharks some much-needed momentum heading into tonight’s region quarterfinals. 

Class 3A

St. Petersburg Catholic (17-8) at Carrollwood Day (17-4)

The Patriots, led by two-sport star Mike Trigg, know they could end up facing Bishop McLaughlin in the region semifinals. First, Carrollwood Day has to get past the Barons, who had a nine-game streak snapped with a loss to Calvary Christian in the 3A-6 district final. 

Bishop McLaughlin (18-6) at Calvary Christian (15-12) 

This matchup features a pair of stellar guards in the Warriors’ Tristan Gross (19 points per game) and the Hurricanes’ Emanuel Sharp (23.8 points per game).  

Class 2A

Brandon Academy (8-10) at Academy at the Lakes (13-6)

Don’t let the record fool you. Though the Scorpions are 8-10, they have played a considerably tough schedule. That helped them make the playoffs for the first time. To make this postseason trip last, Brandon Academy will have to find a way to stop Jalen Brown, who is averaging 24.7 points per game. 

Zephyrhills Christian (9-11) at Cambridge Christian (14-5) 

The Lancers have won seven of their last eight heading into the playoffs. A big reason for their success is the play of their offense, which has put up 70 or more points in the last four wins. 

Southwest Florida Christian (14-11) at Bayshore Christian (10-7)

The Faith Warriors’ quest to make their second straight state semifinal appearance starts tonight. CJ Crews has been the leader. The senior is averaging 22 points and nine rebounds in his last three games.  

Canterbury (13-11) at Naples First Baptist (19-2)

The Crusaders will rely on Percy Pederson III (21.7 points per game) to knock off the Lions, who are ranked No. 6 in 2A by MaxPreps.