Boys Basketball State Semifinals
All games at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland. Admission is $13 on the day of the event. Parking is $10.
Tampa Catholic (19-10) vs. Miami Riviera Prep (25-6), noon today
How they got here: Tampa Catholic d. Bradenton Christian 81-52, d. Fort Myers Gateway Charter 76-54, d. Brooks DeBartolo 84-48. Riviera Prep d. Boca Raton Saint Andrew’s 76-46, d. Doral Savior Academy 71-41, d. Fort Lauderdale Westminster Academy 56-54.
|Category||Tampa Catholic||Riviera Prep|
|Points per game||Karter Knox, 19.9||Dante Allen, 21.6|
|Rebounds per game||Karter Knox, 10.1||Dante Allen, 7.8|
|Assists per game||Isaiah Campbell-Finch, 4.6||Dante Allen, 3.7|
|Steals per game||Karter Knox, 1.8||Dante Allen, 2.4|
|Blocks per game||Karter Knox, 1.1||Gustavo Guimares, 1.6|
Tampa Catholic is in a familiar spot. This is the Crusaders’ seventh state semifinal appearance in the past eight seasons. They are trying to reach the final for the first time since 2020 and win their first state title since 1995.
To prepare for another deep playoff run, Tampa Catholic scheduled elite competition. Seven of the Crusaders’ opponents this season made the state semifinals in various classifications.
Those tough matchups helped Tampa Catholic down the stretch. The Crusaders enter on a five-game win streak, the last four decided by double digits.
Three players — Karter Knox (19.9 points per game), Eddrin Bronson (17) and Isaiah Campbell-Finch (12) — all average double figures in scoring for Tampa Catholic.
Today’s semifinal features Knox and Riviera Prep’s Dante Allen, two of the nation’s top players in their respective classes. Knox, the younger brother of current Portland Trailblazer Kevin Knox, is a five-star recruit who is ranked No. 6 in the country in the 2024 class by ESPN. Allen, whose father, Malik, was a star at Villanova and is a current assistant with the Heat, is a four-star recruit who is ranked among the top 40 in the 2025 class by Rivals.
The Bulldogs also were motivated to get back to Lakeland after losing by a point to FSU High in last year’s state title game.
It was not easy.
Riviera Beach battled through adversity all season. Six of their top seven players from last season graduated, and they dealt with all sorts of injuries, including the loss of Chiekh Ndiaye, a Florida recruit who missed the season after hurting his knee.