Sports beat: Santa Fe, Eastside boys hoops advance

In the postseason, it’s all about “survive and advance.”

Despite trailing 40-38 with 2:33 to play in the game, Santa Fe (Alachua) rallied for a 48-45 win against Bradford (Starke) in the Class 4A-District 5 semifinals on Wednesday night.

Not only did they keep their season alive, but Santa Fe also punched its ticket to the FHSAA state playoffs, which begins on Thursday, Feb. 18.

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The No. 2 seed Raiders (15-5) will play top seed Eastside for the district title on Friday night. The Rams defeated North Marion (Citra), 49-40, in the other semifinal.

Santa Fe handed Eastside (20-1) its only loss of the season back on December 10.

Columbia (Lake City) cruised to the Class 6A-District 2 championship game with a 71-52 win against Gainesville High. The Tigers, winners of 10 in a row, got off to a fast start by outscoring GHS, 29-8, in the opening quarter.

Columbia, which improved to 18-4, will play host Lincoln (Tallahassee) in Friday’s district championship game.

Gainesville’s season ended at 10-12.

It’s only the second time in 15 years that GHS has finished under .500 and the first time in 10 years. The Hurricanes finished the year with double digit wins for the 15th straight year.

798 – Gainesville’s loss to Columbia in the 6A-District 2 semifinals left GHS coach Kelly Beckham just two wins shy of 800 career victories.

This news brief is brought to you by Radiant Credit Union, giving youth the power to shine. Radiant is federally insured by the NCUA.

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