Boys basketball: Class 4A state semifinal breakdown — March 2

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.

Class 4A

Gibbs (23-5) vs. Miami Mater Lakes Academy (26-3), 10 a.m. today

How they got here: Gibbs d. DeSoto County 76-36, d. Lakewood 57-45, d. Fort Myers Gateway 83-61. Mater Lakes Academy d. Miami Booker T. Washington 80-57, d. Hallandale 59-47, d. North Broward Prep 58-53.

Stat Leaders

CategoryGibbsMater Lakes Academy
Points per gameJacob Daniels, 16.6Christian Reid, 13.7
Rebounds per gameMarcus Calvin, 5.6Christian Reid, 9.9
Assists per gameJacob Daniels, 3.8Anthony Knowles, 6.6
Steals per gameJacob Daniels, 2.6Michael Bradley, 3.4
Blocks per gameBobby Crawford, 1.7Michael Bradley, 0.0


Last year, Gibbs went on an exhilarating – and unexpected – run to reach the state semifinals.

The Gladiators won by a point in overtime in the region quarterfinals and by four points in the region finals. Better still, they did it with two freshmen in the starting lineup.

And in the state semifinals, they had a two-point lead with 4:01 left in regulation before letting it slip away in a loss to Jacksonville Andrew Jackson.

That gave Gibbs all the motivation needed to make it back to Lakeland.

“We fully expected to be in this position,” Gladiators coach Larry Murphy said.

This time, Gibbs wants to make the trip last longer.

Since losing by five points to St. Petersburg in January, the Gladiators have won 11 straight games. The key has been a stifling defense that held nine opponents to less than 60 points during their current streak.

Mater Lakes has plenty of confidence, too.

The Bears, ranked No. 1 in the class and No. 6 overall in the state by MaxPreps, are having their best season in school history. They also enter on an 11-game win streak.

The similarities between the teams do not end there.

Defense is something Mater Lakes specializes in as well.

How Gibbs handles that pressure will go a long way in deciding the outcome.