Boys basketball state championships underway

The boys high school basketball season officially comes to an end this week, but there’s plenty of hoops action ahead as the 2021 FHSAA Boys Basketball state championships run Wednesday through Saturday at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland.

In Class 2A, Impact Christian Academy of Jacksonville, which lost to Orlando Christian Prep (OCP) in last year’s state championship game, defeated Southwest Florida Christian of Fort Myers, 69-54, in the first state semifinal Wednesday morning. Defending champ OCP routed Grandview Prep of Boca Raton, 71-32, in the other semifinal to set up a rematch in the title game.

The Class 3A state semifinals were scheduled for 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. State runner-up Andrew Jackson of Jacksonville lost to Bishop McLaughlin (Spring Hill), 79-71. Bishop McLaughlin will play the winner of Wednesday afternoon’s other state semifinal between Calvary Christian (Fort Lauderdale) and Miami Country Day.

That will be followed by the 1A state semifinals on Wednesday night.

At 6 p.m., Central (Milton) plays Crossroad Academy (Quincy) in the first state semifinal. Madison County, which defeated Trenton on the road in the region final, will face Wildwood in the second semifinal at 8 p.m. Wildwood advanced by knocking off defending state champion Hawthorne in the region final. None of last year’s final four made it to Lakeland this year.

Four new participants will compete in this year’s boys basketball Class 4A final four on Thursday.

Santa Fe knocked off Lake Highland Prep (Orlando) last Friday to advance to their first state semifinal appearance in 19 years. The Raiders are led by Ernest Ross, a North Carolina State signee, who scored a team-high 20 points against the Highlanders.

They will face West Nassau (Callahan) at 10 a.m. Thursday. The Warriors advanced to their first state semifinal in school history. They are led by Dallan “Deebo” Coleman, a Georgia Tech signee. Coleman scored 34 points and dished out 10 assists in a two-point win against Marianna. He has scored 2,506 points in his career.

The winner will face either Astronaut (Titusville) or Pine Crest (Fort Lauderdale) in Saturday’s state championship game.

Wednesday’s Santa Fe-West Nassau state semifinal will be broadcast online (audio only) beginning at 9:55 a.m. Here is the link to listen to the game: https://vcloud.blueframetech.com/broadcast/embed/244510?autoplay=1

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