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.
St. Petersburg (23-6) vs. Daytona Beach Mainland (24-5), 4 today
How they got here: St. Petersburg d. Naples 80-73, d. Bradenton Southeast 73-60, d. Naples Barron Collier 48-47. Daytona Beach Mainland d. Tallahassee Rickards 44-25, d. Jacksonville Riverside 32-29, d. Lake City Columbia 35-34.
|Category||St. Petersburg||Daytona Beach Mainland|
|Points per game||Tristan Gross, 17.7||Nathan Kirk, 11.9|
|Rebounds per game||Dylan Kramer, 10.6||Narayan Thomas, 7.2|
|Assists per game||Quez Curry Jr., 4.5||Nathan Kirk, 2.1|
|Steals per game||Sam Ducksworth, 2.0||Nathan Kirk, 1.8|
|Blocks per game||Dylan Kramer, 1.4||DeAndre Newland, 1.6|
Since losing all three games at the Sun Bash Tampa Tournament in December, St. Petersburg has been on a tear. winning 18 of its last 20 games. The only losses in that span were to Providence and Tampa Catholic, both of which made the state semifinals in Class 3A.
The Green Devils, winners of eight straight games heading into today’s game, continued their momentum by getting past Naples Barron Collier on the road in last week’s region finals. The Cougars were not only the top seed in the region but also were undefeated at home 15-0).
By escaping with a one-point win, St. Petersburg was able to reach the state semifinals for the second straight season.
Just making it is not enough for the Green Devils, especially after losing in last year’s state title game.
This time, they want to win it all.
St. Petersburg has the experience to do it. Seniors, such as Quez Curry Jr. and Dylan Kramer, played meaningful minutes as freshmen in a memorable five overtime loss to Fort Myers three years ago in the region semifinals. Those veterans, along with others, have together an impressive resume, filled with conference titles and deep playoff runs.
Now, they try to cap off their career by winning the school’s first state title since 1933.
To do that, the Green Devils first have to get past Daytona Beach Mainland.
This is the Buccaneers’ first trip to the state semifinals in 25 years. Coach Joe Giddens was a teammate of Vince Carter when Mainland won a pair of state titles in the 19990s.
The Buaccaneers enter on a 12-game win streak. They specialize in playing tight-low-scoring games. In the region semifinals and finals, Mainland won by 32 and 35 points, respectively.