[UPDATED SCORES 2/26/20 8:19AM] 2020 #PBCHOOPS Regional Semifinal Preview and Predictions (South Florida)
Preview by Derrick Franklin and #PBCHOOPS
It's the regional Sweet 16 and only six #PBCHOOPS teams remain on the Road to Lakeland. Five are no surprise, Forest Hill, St Andrew's, Dwyer, Park Vista and Grandview Prep all spent plenty of time in the #PBCHOOPS Top 5, proving to be the counties best teams all season. Lake Worth Christian is the only team left that didn't make an appearance in the poll this season. Now the six team are two wins away from advancing to the State Final 4, but first each needs to win the game ahead of them Tuesday night, which won't be an easy task for any. Here's a look at the matchups plus a look at all the South Florida Regional Semifinal matchups:
Regional Playoff Preview and Predictions
Last Week Pick Record: #PBCHOOPS 10-3 (Overall 24-14) D Franklin 9-4 (Overall 24-14)
Region 4-2A Regional Semifinal
Champagnat Catholic 52 vs Grandview Prep 62
It's no surprise for Champagnat to face a Palm Beach County team at this time of the year in the Regional playoffs. Over the past several years in 3A the Lions have gone toe to toe with Village Academy and Jupiter Christian annually. Now with the drop down to 2A they will be up against a Grandview Prep team that looks to be peaking at the right time. The Pride rolls out a team with plenty of size, four player stand 6' 4" or taller and a dynamic playmaking point guard. Harry Santiago may not be 100 % but continues to lead and make plays which gives Grandview a shot in any contest. Grandview still has enough talent to win this game but the winner will be decided by the team that is tougher down the stretch. Champagnat has been through the wars and is a battle tested team, Grandview needs to prove itself when it counts. This one should be very close..
DF Prediction: Grandview Prep - Very intriguing matchup and a game worth going to see, I like Coach Dawson and his group to get the win.
#PBCHOOPS Prediction Grandview Prep
Winner: Grandview Prep
Lake Worth Christian 43 vs Schoolhouse Prep 76
Lake Worth Christian came up big defeating a solid Village Academy squad in the quarterfinals, the reward? A trip down south to face one of the top teams in the state regardless of class. Schoolhouse Prep is absolutely loaded and looking to get back to Lakeland for the second year in a row. Lake Worth Christian has had a great year thus far but it will be asking a lot for the Defenders to come back home with a win, tough draw for the boys in blue.
DF Prediction: Schoolhouse Prep
#PBCHOOPS Prediction Schoolhouse Prep
Winner: Schoolhouse Prep
Region 3-3A Semifinal
Saint Andrew's 70 vs Westminster Academy 61
Big time game featuring a team that's been there and one that wants to go where the other has been. Westminster Academy is the three-time defending state champion in 4A, now with a drop down to an ultra competitive 3A the Lions are trying for an unprecedented four-peat. Standing in their way at the moment is a Saint Andrew's team that has loaded up and built itself to contend for this state championship run. This game will feature no less than six Division 1 prospects on one floor with at least two looking to push into high major D1 category, Ben Middlebrooks and Joshua Minott. Both teams have size, athleticism, shooters and playmakers. Westminster has an edge at the point guard position with senior southpaw Stephen Swenson running the show for the Lions flanked by dead eye shooters Caleb Mueller, Troy Boynton and Aidan Abell. The Scot's are versatile, led by senior 6' 9" Yusif Basa-Ama and 6' 8" Minott. Add to that 6' 4" dynamo playmaking guard Devin Hines and 6' 4" sniper Jackson May and Saint Andrew's fits very well with the elite in its class. This group has played one of the strongest schedules in the state and took on all comers this season, Saint Andrew's is ready and prepared to take that next step.
DF Prediction: Saint Andrew’s - I'm going to get some slack on this one, but both teams mirror each other with talent and style of play, both have been dominate at times this year. In a game like this with contrasting styles of play, I would take the veteran players more then the youth. Josh Minott is the X factor. Westminster in a close one.
#PBCHOOPS Prediction Saint Andrew's - These two teams have been on a collision course all season. Going with Saint Andrew's.
Winner: Saint Andrew's
Calvary Christian 41 vs Santa Fe Catholic 48
Calvary Head Coach Cilk Mcsweeney has been here before, leading his Calvary squad to a state championship just three short years ago in 2017. Calvary has played Broward's best all season and are as prepared as any team to face the FHSAA overall #1 ranked team in Santa Fe. The Eagles are led by 6' 7" sophomore sensation Gregg Glenn, 6' 4" sharp shooter Noah Tovar and 6' 5" junior Dylan Canonville to go along with roster full of talent that can score and defend at a high level. Santa Fe Catholic has been tough all season and this game won't be an easy one for either team.
DF Prediction: Calvary Christian - Santa Fe has a talented duo, but Calvary is loaded and led by a top 100 prospect in Gregg Glenn. I like Calvary in the win
#PBCHOOPS Prediction Calvary Christian
Winner: Santa Fe Catholic
Region 4-3A Semifinal
Chaminade-Madonna 87 vs Miami Country Day 39
DF Prediction: Chaminade
#PBCHOOPS Prediction Chaminade
Riviera Prep 63 vs Westminster Christian 55
DF Prediction: Riviera Prep - Led by a young team Coach Shabaz has his program moving in the right direction. Coach Brown is the definition of steady. I like Riviera Prep with the win.
#PBCHOOPS Prediction Riviera Prep
Winner: Riviera Prep
Region 4-4A Semifinal
University School 61 vs Stranahan 63
The Battle of State Champs, U-School has won the head to head twice this year already and it's hard to beat a team 3x. Stranahan has been battled tested all year and comes with a veteran team who has been to the regional finals for the last 3yrs.
DF Prediction: Stranahan
#PBCHOOPS Prediction Stranahan
Pine Crest 61 vs Gulliver Prep 66
Fun matchup that will feature some of South Florida's top athletes. Gulliver may just have more playmakers.
DF Prediction: Pine Crest - Pine crest is on a tear, they are gathering steam too, like a locomotive that seems to be full steam ahead towards a state title. To me they have the best 2 underclassmen in the state in Amen & Ausar thompson. Pine Crest with the win.
#PBCHOOPS Prediction Gulliver Prep
Winner: Gulliver Prep
Region 4-5A Semifinal
Northeast 69 vs Pembroke Pines Charter 76
The fourth and final go around for what has been one of the best matchups in South Florida all season. Northeast has won two of the three thus far, splitting the last two. This will be the third matchup this month with a chance at moving one step closer to Lakeland on the line. The players on both sides are well known by now, Northeast is loaded and led by 6' 6" junior point guard Wesley Cardet, 6' point guard Tyrecke Francios, 6' 4" wing Jameon Harris and 6' 9" twins Matthew and Ryan Bewley. 5' 9" Dallas Graziani is the heart and soul that fuels the Jaguars, don't let his size or appearance fool you, this kid can hoop, period. Graziani can get any shot he wants on the floor and also can create for others. Pines Charter however is not a one man show by any means, 6' 5" senior Osei Price and 6' junior guard Javen Smith are the real deal. Price is "Mr Everything" able to operate inside and out while Smith is an explosive, crafty finisher around the basket that scores in bunches. All that to go along with 5' 11" shooting guard Geoffrey Sprouse, one of the best pure shooters in not only this area but the state of Florida. In a game with so much offensive firepower it will be the team that shows up on defense that will come away victorious, last time out Northeast made its presence felt, Pines Charter will need to match that Tuesday night.
DF Prediction: Northeast - We have enjoyed the year long battle, the conclusion to this rivalry comes to an end tomorrow, can you say whoa!!! Who thought this would have to end. With Northeast at home, I like them to win in triple OT and by 1pt in the closing. Wishful thinking Northeast with the win.
#PBCHOOPS Prediction Northeast
Winner: Pembroke Pines Charter
Boyd Anderson 62 vs Okeechobee 65
What a matchup!! To say Okeechobee has flown under the radar in class 5A may be the biggest understatement of the year. Seeing all the firepower down south how is it a little school just north of the big lake is one of the four teams standing in this brutal region? The answer will most likely come Tuesday night as Boyd Anderson comes to town and brings the show with them. BA guards Martin Mercedes and Kemari (KJ) Brown are as dynamic a backcourt that you will find. The quickness of Mercedes coupled with the power game of Brown make the Cobras tough to stop for anyone. Okeechobee will have its hands full but have been up to many challenges all season, this will be yet another. Expect the scene to be absolutely crazy out west for this one.
DF Prediction: Boyd Anderson - Coach Riles wants some respect on his cities name and boy does he have a chance to make us respect them. He already took down a Palm Beach team and wrapped up the 2 seed and beat a Miami-Dade county team. Now enters one of Broward's perennial powers Boyd Anderson. The last couple of years BA has been up and down and the disappointment is echoing from the community, but BA has been tough all year and can right the wrongs of years past. I like Boyd Anderson in a close win.
#PBCHOOPS Prediction Okeechobee
Region 4-6A Semifinal
Mater Academy 51 vs South Miami 48
So much talent in one game between two of the favorites in 6A statewide. This could be the biggest game of any Regional Semi, because any one of these teams could play and win the state title.
DF Prediction:Mater Academy - Hard to call but I got to go with Mater Academy based on the Head to Heads during the season and it will be a home game for them.
#PBCHOOPS Prediction South Miami
Winner: Mater Academy
Martin County 72 vs Dillard 86
Martin County has been solid all season long and is right where they expected themselves to be at this time of the year. Now they face one of Broward counties top programs for a chance to move on step closer to a state title berth. County has excellent guard play in seniors Jero Brown and Matt Davis, two different styles but complement each other well. Davis plays downhill and is always in attack mode looking to finish at the basket. Brown is a shifty guard that can get his own shot and light it up from the perimeter. County guards will need to be stellar because they go up against a loaded Dillard squad with a big time guard of its own in 6' 3" lefty Ivan Reynolds and lots size of size led by 6' 8" Jalen Haynes. Dillard is a team on a mission looking to avenge a loss in last year's 7A state championship game. Once again the Panthers are a team on a mission they will be hard to beat.
DF Prediction: Dillard - Let's get this out the way, both these school's have massive college arena's (no exaggeration) so the atmosphere will not get to either team. Love Coach Leon's group, Martin County is never an easy out and always year in and year out in contention, but they face an uphill battle in Perennial state power Dillard High. If this is Coach Burrows last year, he will not be going down without a fight. Dillard in the win.
#PBCHOOPS Prediction Dillard
Region 3-7A Semifinal
Forest Hill 99 vs JP Taravella 79
As predicted last week Taravella possesses the type of roster and style of play that gives opponents problems. The Trojans did something that not many teams have done the past 5 years, beat Wellington in the playoffs. Now on to the next one for Taravella and this time around they face the #1 team in 7A Forest Hill. The Falcons have soared all season not losing a game since mid December. Do you know who else hasn't lost since December (outside of two forfeits)? Taravella. This sets up what should be one of the more competitive games of the night. The Falcons learned a lot about win or go home, playoff basketball Thursday night when a desperate Lakes team full of seniors gave them all they could handle until finally pulling it out late in the fourth quarter. Forest Hill can expect the same level of fight from senior led Taravella team not ready to go home just yet. As has been the case all season the Falcons will be led by senior point guard D' ante Daniels, Jonathan Mogbo, Troy Joseph, Donovan Draper and Jalen Jeter. This will be another in a long line of test for Forest Hill this season as they look to finally break through and get one step closer to that elusive trip to Lakeland.
DF Prediction: Forest Hill - I like Forest Hill in this one, both play hard and are well coached, just that Forest Hill has more scorers than most.
#PBCHOOPS Prediction Forest Hill
Winner: Forest Hill
Dwyer 44 vs Park Vista 48 (OT)
These teams met in the preseason and at the time not many thought they would be back in a showdown for a chance to make it to the regional final. Park Vista for sure was considered a contender but not many, if any, thought this young Dwyer squad would have the season it's had thus far. Rewind back to November 21, 2019 a preseason contest that featured these two teams as the headline. Park Vista showed it's experience and Dwyer its youth as the Cobras went on to defeat the Panthers convincingly 79-61 on their home floor. This time around the game is at Dwyer, both teams are better and Park Vista is coming off back to back thrillers, showing they can execute late when the game is on the line. Dwyer has shown the same since the first week of the season, winning close game after close game to get them on a roll before putting together a remarkable 21-4 record. Park Vista's big three of Erik Pratt, John Saenz and Hantz Jeune have stepped up this postseason. Dwyer's sophomore point guard Xavier Scott and junior Rodrick Johnson must continue to lead like they have all season for the Panthers to come out on top. This is a tough one to pick..
DF Prediction: Park Vista - Tough one to call, but I like Park Vista because there tough they play extremely hard they have athletes and a dominant scorer in Erik Pratt and a do everything play in John Saenz.
#PBCHOOPS Prediction Park Vista
Winner: Park Vista
Region 4-7A Semifinal
Miramar 83 vs Coral Gables 63
DF Prediction: Miramar - Another close one to call but I have to go with Miramar, Coral Gables has some very talented players, but Miramar is battled tested, hardened and they've been here before so with that experience I like Miramar.
#PBCHOOPS Prediction Miramar
Miami High 51 vs Western 62
2 teams that flew under the radar, and now they are here a step closer to destiny. I like Coach Mike and his guy's they really play all out and move like a well oiled machine very impressive for a 1st year HC, Justin Neely is a Mr. Basketball candidate for Dade County (shout-out to @Miamidadebb) but they will have to show that there more then one dimensional.
DF Prediction: Western
#PBCHOOPS Prediction Miami High
Well that's a wrap, a complete South Florida playoff preview. See you back later this week.
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