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Boys Basketball

Boys basketball region quarterfinal recap

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Scoreboard

Class 7A

Alonso 62, Durant 55

Sarasota Riverview 54, Wharton 44

Class 6A

East Lake 78, Largo 42

Wiregrass Ranch 72, St. Petersburg 69

Lakeland Kathleen 55, Bloomingdale 41

Plant City 78, Hillsborough 71

Class 5A

Blake 49, Boca Ciega 46

Jesuit 63, Clearwater 49

Leesburg 82, Land O’ Lakes 76

Fivay 67, Orlando Jones 60

Class 4A

Tampa Catholic 76, Cocoa 58

Alachua Santa Fe 58, Central 37

Lake Highland Prep 63, Wesley Chapel 38

Eustis 39, Nature Coast 36

Class 3A

Carrollwood Day 81, St. Petersburg Catholic 57

Bishop McLaughlin 62, Calvary Christian 48

Class 2A

Brandon Academy 56, Academy at the Lakes 49

Cambridge Christian 79, Zephyrhills Christian 68

Southwest Florida Christian 69, Bayshore Christian 68

Naples First Baptist 57, Canterbury 49

Prime time performers

G Juan Arias, Sr., Brandon Academy: Had 16 points and 12 rebounds in a win over Academy at the Lakes.

G Deon Brown, Sr., Bayshore Christian: Led the Faith Warriors with 26 points in a loss to Southwest Florida Christian. 

G Jalen Brown, Sr., Academy at the Lakes: Finished with 28 points and 12 rebounds in a loss to Brandon Academy.  

G Dean Gabrelcik, Sr., East Lake: Led the Eagles with 18 points, 10 rebounds and five assists in a win over Largo. 

G DJ Haynes, Jr., Plant City: Had 23 points, six rebounds and four assists in a win over Hillsborough. 

G Eric Howard, Sr., Fivay: Scored a team-high 27 points in a win over Orlando Jones. 

G Karter Knox, Fr., Tampa Catholic: Finished with 20 points and seven rebounds in a win over Cocoa. 

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. 

F/C Tim Reilly, Sr., St. Petersburg Catholic: Had 27 points and 11 rebounds in a loss to Carrollwood Day.

G Trent Scott, Jr., Alonso: Led the Ravens with 15 points, nine rebounds and six assists in a win over Durant. 

G Emanuel Sharp, Fr., Bishop McLaughlin: Scored 22 points and had eight rebounds in a win over Calvary Christian.  

G Demetri Whitehead, Jr., Zephyrhills Christian: Finished with 28 points in a loss to Cambridge Christian. 

Tuesday’s region semifinal schedule

Class 7A

Alonso at Sarasota Riverview

Class 6A

Wiregrass Ranch at East Lake

Plant City at Lakeland Kathleen

Class 5A

Jesuit at Blake

Leesburg at Fivay

Class 4A

Astronaut at Tampa Catholic

Class 3A

Bishop McLaughlin at Carrollwood Day

Class 2A

Brandon Academy at Cambridge Christian

Boys Basketball

Bishop McLaughlin’s Emanuel Sharp commits to Houston

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Bishop McLaughlin’s Emanuel Sharp, who led the program to its first state title game appearance, made his college plans official by committing to Houston on Thursday. 

Sharp publicly made the decision on social media. The four-star recruit, who was rated as the 11th-best shooting guard in the nation by ESPN, picked the Cougars over offers from Florida, Georgia Tech and Louisville, among others. 

Last month, Sharp was named the state player of the year in his classification for the second straight season by the Florida Dairy Farmers.

A year ago, Sharp (featured photo above courtesy of Willie Kelly) took home 5A honors after finishing as the state’s fourth-leading scorer and ranking among the top 20 in the nation with an average of 31.9 points per game. Better still, he helped Blake go through a remarkable turnaround. The Yellow Jackets went from a losing record during the 2018-19 season to finishing 22-6 and reaching the playoffs for the first time since 2011 last season. 

In the offseason, Sharp switched schools, transferring to Bishop McLaughlin to join his father, Derrick, who took over head coaching duties. After missing the first six games of the season with an injury and enduring a 17-day layoff for contact tracing related to COVID-19, Sharp found his groove. 

The junior guard finished with a team-leading 24.7 points per game and led the Hurricanes to their first state title game appearance in school history. Those numbers, coupled with the playoff run, were the main reasons Sharp won again, this time as the 3A state player of the year. 

He is the first male at Bishop McLaughlin to win a state player of the year award in the school’s classification.

Sharp is one of the prized prospects in the 2022 class for Houston, which went 28-4 and lost to eventual national champion Baylor in the Final Four this season.

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Boys Basketball

Former St. Petersburg star Serrel Smith Jr. commits to USF

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For years, the USF men’s basketball program has tried to land a prized prospect from the bay area, extending offers to local stars such as Tampa Catholic’s Kevin Knox and Thomas Dziagwa, Tampa Prep’s Juwan Durham and St. Petersburg’s Serrel Smith Jr..

All went elsewhere.

On Friday, one of those standouts decided to give the Bulls a chance. 

Smith Jr., who played two seasons at Maryland before transferring to East Tennessee State, announced on his Twitter page that he was committing USF.

The move comes exactly two weeks after Smith Jr. entered the transfer portal. This is Smith Jr.’s third school in as many seasons. Still, the latest stop gives the Bulls a homegrown star, something that has eluded the program for years. 

Only three other locals — Hudson’s Mark Calleja, Seminole’s Henry Beard and Oldsmar Christian’s Troy Holston, have made the USF roster in the past five seasons. Calleja and Beard were walk-ons. 

Smith Jr. was a coveted recruit who continued to receive interest from the Bulls a year ago when he transferred to East Tennessee State. 

“The way the transfer portal is now, players are constantly coming and going,” Green Devils coach Chris Blackwell Jr. said. “Their journeys are always evolving but eventually they end up playing where they should have been all along.

“I’m happy for Serrel. He’s back home, and it should be a good situation for him.”

During his two seasons at Maryland, Smith Jr. played sparingly, averaging 10 minutes and 2.6 points per game. Last season, Smith Jr. averaged seven points and 2.3 rebounds per game at East Tennessee State.   

He was a star throughout his high school career at St. Petersburg. As a senior, Smith Jr. was named the Florida Dairy Farmers Class 8A state player of the year after averaging 29. 3 points per game and helping the Green Devils reach the state semifinals for the third time in his four seasons with the program. 

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Boys Basketball

Tony Livingston transfers to King

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Tony Livingston, a two-sport star who committed to Florida earlier this month, has transferred from Carrollwood Day to King. 

The rising senior will play football and basketball for the Lions. 

“We’re happy to have him for his last year,” said King basketball coach Chris Senoga-Zake, who previously coached at Carrollwood Day. “He’s grown a lot from the time I had him as a freshman and has been working hard this off season. I’m hoping we can change the culture at King and give him the opportunity to showcase his true talent on the court.”

Three weeks ago, Livingston became the first area player in the 2022 class to commit to the Gators. . 

Livingston (featured photo above courtesy of JJ Battle/Battle Tested Photography) is a 6-foot-6, 250 pound offensive tackle who is athletic enough to play tight end, too. The four-star recruit is rated as the 18th-best player in the state and 19-best offensive tackle in the nation in the 2022 class according to 247 Sports’ composite list.

Though Livingston’s primary sport is football, he also played a key role in helping Carrollwood Day’s basketball team win a district title and reach the Class 3A region semifinals. Earlier this month, Florida became the first school to extend offers to Livingston in both sports. 

He could end up playing both in college, much like his former Carrollwood Day teammate Mike Trigg plans to do at Southern California this coming fall.   

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