Boys basketball state finals
All games at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland. Admission is $10 in advance, $13 on the day of the event. Parking is $10.
St. Petersburg (25-5) vs. Fort Lauderdale Stranahan (26-3), 3 p.m., today
How they got here: St. Petersburg d. Seminole 71-47, d. Bradenton Southeast 80-77, d. Naples Barron Collier 69-66, d. Orlando Jones 85-78 (OT). Fort Lauderdale Stranahan d. Melbourne Eau Gallie 66-48, d. Miami Belen Jesuit 54-36, d. Miami Norland 56-43, d. Pensacola Pine Forest 61-60.
|Category||St. Petersburg||Fort Lauderdale Stranahan|
|Points per game||Tristan Gross, 20.6||Hykeem Williams, 12.2|
|Rebounds per game||Dylan Kramer, 8.8||Hykeem Williams, 10.3|
|Assists per game||Marquris Curry Jr., 4.0||Jaylen Black, 4.5|
|Steals per game||Derrick Mitchell, 2.0||Jaylen Black, 2.0|
|Blocks per game||Dylan Kramer, 2.0||Deandre Williams, 1.6|
Both teams survived close contests in the semifinals to reach the title game. St. Petersburg showed its resolve after letting a double-digit lead slip away that forced overtime. The Green Devils regrouped after that to beat Orlando Jones 85-78. Stranahan beat Pensacola Pine Forest 61-60 thanks to a buzzer-beating shot from Darrin Garrett. St. Petersburg is trying to win its first state title since 1933. This is the second time in the past decade the Green Devils are playing in the championship game. They got here thanks to embracing a team concept with balance among scorers. Three players — Tristan Gross (20.6 points per game), Derrick Mitchell (12) and Dylan Kramer (10.6) — are averaging double figures in scoring for the season. In Thursday’s semifinal, four reached double figures — Gross, Kramer, Sam Ducksworth and Marquris Curry Jr. Stranahan, winners of six straight, is ranked No. 1 in the class by MaxPreps. Two years ago, the Mighty Dragons beat Tampa Catholic for the 4A title.