Boys basketball: Class 4A state semifinal preview — Feb. 29, 2024

Boys Basketball State Semifinals

All games at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland.  Admission is $15 on the day of the event. Parking is $10.

Class 4A
Gibbs (25-5) vs. North Broward Prep (24-7), 11 a.m. today

How they got here: Gibbs d. Bradenton Bayshore 75-48, d. Sarasota Booker 85-48, d. Fort Myers Gateway 71-49. North Broward Prep d. St. Brendan 74-49, d. Fort Lauderdale Calvary Christian 50-48, d. Mater Lakes Academy 48-37.

Stat Leaders
CategoryGibbsNorth Broward Prep
Points per gameJacob Daniels, 18.5Raul Perez Ruiz, 19.4
Rebounds per gameIsaiah Medina, 7.1Enrico Borio, 7.6
Assists per gameJacob Daniels, 4.8Enrico Borio, 3.2
Steals per gameJacob Daniels, 2.4Raul Perez Ruiz, 1.7
Blocks per gameBobby Crawford, 2.2Francesco Borio, 0.7


The Gladiators are in the state semifinals for the third straight season. This time, they do not have a just-happy-to-be-here mentality. With an experienced roster that includes plenty of players who have been to the final four before, Gibbs is intent of reaching the title game for the first time since 1969 when they won their last title. For the past two seasons, the Gladiators have been close to getting past that state semifinal hurdle with closely contested losses to Andrew Jackson in 2022 and Mater Lakes Academy last season. Gibbs had the lead at the half against Andrew Jackson and were ahead going into the fourth quarter against Mater Lakes before falling short. Nearly everyone on the team was an underclassman during those last two semifinal appearances. The veterans have been fortified this season by two key additions — freshman Oneal Delancey and junior Isaiah Medina. Delancey is the second-leading scorer on the team with 15.8 points per game while Medina, a transfer from Lakeland, has averaged double figures in points and rebounds in two of the last three games. Since closing out the regular season with consecutive losses, including one in triple overtime to Seminole in the Pinellas County Athletic Conference championship game, the Gladiators have been on a tear, winning five straight games — all by 21 or more points. After losing to Fort Lauderdale Calvary Christian in the district final, North Broward Prep has found a way to come together at the right time with three straight wins, including a rematch with Calvary Christian in the region semifinals and a victory over defending state champion Mater Lakes in the region final.

Player spotlight
Jacob Daniels, Jr., Gibbs

Daniels has always been counted on for offensive production. He averaged double figures in scoring in each of his first three seasons. But Daniels also is adept at distributing the ball to his teammates. In fact, he has recorded a double-double in points and assists in three of the last four games.