Santa Fe Raiders gear up for first state title game

Basketball
Basketball

The Santa Fe boys’ basketball team will play for the Class 4A state title this afternoon.

On Thursday morning at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland, the Raiders (20-5) overcame an eight-point deficit with 3:37 to play to defeat West Nassau (Callahan) in the Class 4A state semifinals. It was Santa Fe’s first trip to the final four in 19 years.

Senior Willie Lewis scored on a layup with three seconds to play as Santa Fe advanced to the title game with a 64-63 win.

Sophomore Don’Trell Jenkins, who had the game-winning assist, finished with a team-high 22 points for Santa Fe. Senior Cayvian Wakeley added 16 points, followed by Lewis with 10 points.

Wakeley is the brother of former Raider C.J. Wakeley, who played at Lincoln Memorial University. Lewis is a transfer from Buchholz.

North Carolina State signee Ernest Ross was plagued by early foul trouble on Thursday. Ross, who averages a double-double (18.4 ppg/10.5 rpg), fouled out with 6:15 to play in the game.

The win offset a 33-point performance by Dallan “Deebo” Coleman, a McDonald’s All-American game nominee who has signed to play at Georgia Tech.

Pine Crest (Fort Lauderdale) is today’s opponent—bringing Santa Fe gets a double dose of future Division-I players.

Ausar Thompson and Amen Thompson are twin brothers (6-foot-4 juniors) who are being nationally recruited by Kansas, Florida State and Memphis, among others. Ausar led the team in PPG, while Amen had eight double-doubles and one triple double.

The Panthers (20-1) have won 18 games in a row, including a 68-47 win against Astronaut (Titusville) in the other semifinal.

Ausar scored 27 points and Amen had 18 in the win. Amen added eight assists and seven steals.

Santa Fe, which has won 15 of its last 16 games, has dedicated the season to Coach Elliot Harris’s wife Clydina, who is battling cancer.

The tip is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. The game will be televised by Spectrum. Click here to watch (a $9.99 subscription is required).

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