Sports beat: Santa Fe is heading to the Elite Eight

Tuesday was a tough night for area boys’ basketball teams.

And at the end of the night only one team was left standing.

Santa Fe (Alachua) rallied past visiting Eastside (Gainesville), 41-31, in an FHSAA Class 4A-Region 2 Semifinal.

“Strange game, but we survived and advanced,” said Santa Fe coach Elliot Harris. “It’s another opportunity to win another game and get closer to our goal.”

The Raiders (18-5) advance to Friday’s region final against Lake Highland Prep (Orlando).

It was a low scoring first half.

In fact, Eastside (21-3) failed to score in the opening eight minutes, but Santa Fe only had a 5-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.

The Rams didn’t get on the scoreboard until senior Omar Brown hit two free throws with 4:45 to play in the half. Brown scored six of his eight points in the second quarter as the Rams trailed 14-7.

Eastside senior Quay Brodus caught fire in the third quarter, hitting his second 3-pointer of the quarter to give the Rams their first lead at 17-14. Brodus scored 10 of his team-high 14 points to help lead Eastside back.

However, Santa Fe sophomore Dontrell Jenkins also heated up. He hit three 3-pointers in the third quarter and scored 11 of his game-high 18 points in the quarter to give the Raiders the lead again, 27-22, after the third quarter.

“He’s a special kid,” Harris said. “A gym rat. He’s been around our program for years. I texted him earlier today and I said, ‘I feel like you’re going to have a good game.’”

Jenkins hit his fourth three of the game in the final quarter and Santa Fe outscored Eastside 14-9 to put the game away.

It seems the Raiders were the Rams’ kryptonite. Santa Fe swept the 3-game series against Eastside this season.

Meanwhile the season came to an end for defending 1A state champion Hawthorne, Trenton, and Columbia (Lake City).

The Hornets (13-10) lost at Wildwood (20-7), 72-58, to ensure a new state champion in Class 1A. Wildwood will play Madison County in next week’s state semifinals. The Cowboys (13-7) defeated Trenton (14-15) on the road, 64-50, in the other region final.

Columbia’s season came to an end with a 49-41 loss at Lincoln (Tallahassee) in a Class 6A-Region 1 Semifinal. The Tigers finish the season with a record of 19-6.

Tuesday night’s boys’ basketball playoff scores:

Regional Semifinals

6A-Region 1

Lincoln (Tallahassee) 49, Columbia (Lake City) 41

4A-Region 2

Santa Fe (Alachua) 41, Eastside (Gainesville) 31

Regional Semifinals

1A-Region 3

Madison County 64, Trenton 50

1A-Region 4

Wildwood 72, Hawthorne 58

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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