R.M.F. Road to Lakeland: Regional Quarterfinals (5A-9A) and Semifinals (1A-4A) Preview and Predictions

Screen Shot 2017-02-15 at 11.00.28 AM

By: Jesse Nadelman (Staff Writer) and Jean Dubuisson II (Co-founder)

What a regular season it was, but the regional playoffs are finally upon us. It’s a privilege at this time of year to still be practicing, but it’s do-or-die time. Win or go home.

All the blood, sweat, and tears throughout a season comes down to one month.

For 5A-9A, it’s the regional quarterfinals this week, with five wins needed to take home the coveted state championship in Lakeland.

And for 1A-4A, it’s the the regional semifinals, with four wins needed for the state title.

Either way, the Road to Lakeland starts now, and R.M.F. Magazine will have you covered the entire way on the road to the FHSAA state championships in Lakeland, with predictions and previews for each round of regionals.

For each regional game including a South Florida team, R.M.F. Magazine’s Jean Dubuisson II and Jesse Nadelman will predict the winner, and give reasoning.

We also have South Florida regional brackets here, which will be updated throughout regionals.

Playoff basketball is the best basketball.

Enjoy.

CLASS 1-4A (Regional Semifinals)

*All games on Thursday, February 16th at 7:00 P.M.

CLASS 2A

Region 4

Game 3- westminster-christian.jpgimageversionFacebookexactH630exactW1200exactfitcropnoborderWestwood Christian at QWgeqLBw_400x400Grandview Prep

Jesse Nadelman (Staff Writer):

Grandview Prep wins by 7

This is the second time these two teams have faced this season, with Grandview coming on top earlier in the season. I think Westwood’s size advantage in this one will make it interesting, but I will take coach Joe Dawson and his club at home, with their experience and veteran leadership being a key factor against an extremely young Westwood squad.

Jean Dubuisson II (co-founder):

Grandview Prep wins by 15+

As good as 6’11 (Jr.) Emmanuel Dowuona (Westwood Christian) is, it will be a hard task to beat defending state champions Grandview Prep in Boca. This group that The Pride has, Jamal Ellick, Roy Jones III, Matthew Schner, will be tough to beat. Schner being the emotional leader of the group and that ‘knows how to win’ attitude will carry The Pride.

 

Game 4- acaAtlantic Christian at l6x-mA_N.jpg-largeMiami Christian

Jesse Nadelman:

Miami Christian wins by 20

Atlantic Christian has had a great year and it was so close to taking home a district title before falling in overtime to Grandview, but Miami Christian is too good. The Victors – number one in the RMF Top 25 poll – should cruise to the regional finals with a home win in this one.

Jean Dubuisson II:

Miami Christian wins by 20+

It will be a difficult task at hand for Atlantic Christian. The Victors, like I said before, have their eyes on Lakeland and they won’t lose focus on that. Atlantic Christian has had a great season thus far but that season sorry will come to an end this week.

 

CLASS 3A

Region 4

Game 3- crusader-athletics-logo-largerCoral Springs Christian at logo-1076698Village Academy

Jesse Nadelman:

Village Academy wins by 19

Coral Springs Christian coach Gavin Felix has done a phenomenal job with lesser talent this year by getting the Crusaders to this point – where nobody thought they’d be – but unfortunately the road is likely going to end here. Terrance Atkinson, too, has done a fabulous job with Village Academy. The Tigers will be too much for Coral Springs Christian and will get to the regional finals.

Jean Dubuisson II:

Village Academy wins by 10

Coral Springs Christian has been under the radar all season, this has been a SURPRISE run for The Crusaders. Big Kodos to Coach Gavin Felix and staff, but the journey will end in Palm Beach.  Village Academy has shown that they are not a fluke this season. Look for Coach Atkinson to have his guys ready. It would really surprise me if Village doesn’t win.

Game 4- BC_Bulldog_smallBerean Christian at Champagnat-Catholic-School-Hialeah-Campus-LtiA3NChampagnat Catholic

Jesse Nadelman:

Champagnat Catholic wins by 26

Champagnat had no trouble going undefeated this year in district play and capturing a district title, and the same should go in the regional quarterfinals against Berean Christian. Village Academy and Champagnat in the regional finals will be a good one.

Jean Dubuisson II:

Champagnat Catholic wins by 20+

Don’t know much about Berean Christian, but what I do know is that they made here. However, Champagnat is athletic, tough and gritty.  The Lions are ready to eat! 

CLASS 4A 

Region 3

Game 7- 2226Miami Country Day at Unknown-1Westminster Academy

Jesse Nadelman:

Westminster Academy wins by 18

Westminster got a surprising scare by Weinbaum Yeshiva in the district semifinals, but was able to expectedly handle Benjamin for the district title. I think that Yeshiva game woke up the Lions that they can’t be complacent. It’s do-or-die time. Ehren Wallhoff will have Westminster ready, and they will take care of business against Miami Country Day.

Jean Dubuisson II:

Westminster Academy wins by 10

Miami Country Day has had a solid season this year under veteran Coach Hugo De La Rosa (one thing I know this team will battle under Coach Hugo’s leadership), but as of late they have been hit with the injury bug, which usually throws a monkey wrench in all plans.  (Sr) 6’8 (F) Ibrahim Doumbia (University of South Carolina Signee) will be asked to do too much to carry the Spartans past the Lions. Last year was last year for Westminster Academy with several additions to this team and a key departure of Jerald Butler.  The Big 3 of Zach Scott, Paul Atkinson and Jason Strong has led the Lions to back to back district championships.  Now can this group get to Lakeland will be the question. The Lions should win this one.

Game 8- BucHead-Full-ColorBenjamin at Angry Lion LogoSagemont

Jesse Nadelman:

Sagemont wins by 30

Don’t look now, but coach Adam Ross has Sagemont playing its best basketball of the season at the perfect time. The Lions haven’t lost since December 16th against the Patrick School (NJ) at the City of Palms. Expect them to roll past Benjamin and setup the rematch with Westminster in the regional finals.

Jean Dubuisson II:

Sagemont wins by 20+ 

Region 4 

Game 3- 543bf02d3e1fe.preview-200Palm Glades Prep at archbishop-carroll-bulldogsArchbishop Carroll

Jesse Nadelman:

Archbishop Carroll wins by 35

I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again, don’t look past Archbishop Carroll. Brilliant coach Juan Hernandez quietly has his Bulldogs on a mission to get back to Lakeland – where they lost last year – and this time take home a state title. The path there starts with a game against inferior Palm Glades Prep at home, in which Archbishop Carroll should dominate.

Jean Dubuisson II:

Archbishop Carroll wins by 25+

Archbishop Carroll is on a mission. The type of schedule they had was one of the toughest in South Florida. This team can flat out shoot the ball!

Game 4- QozX2WZJ_400x400Florida Christian at Palmer-Trinity-LogoPalmer Trinity

Jesse Nadelman:

Florida Christian wins by 10

I really like this Florida Christian team. They are more talented than people think – led by 6-6 freshman John Square – and I think they go on the road and beat Palmer Trinity here to get another shot at Archbishop Carroll in the regional finals.

Jean Dubuisson II:

Florida Christian wins by 10

Even though Florida Christian took a whopping to Archbishop Carroll in their respective District Championship, look for The Patriots to get pass Palmer Trinity and look for a rematch with The Bulldogs.

CLASS 5A-9A (Regional Quarterfinals)

*All games Thursday, February 16th at 7:00 P.M.

CLASS 5A

Region 3

Game 15- Sader with Sword LogoCardinal Newman at 18070Lincoln Park (Fort Pierce)

Jesse Nadelman:

Cardinal Newman wins by 16

Cardinal Newman wasn’t able to win the district title game when it faced off with Oxbridge for a third time, but I’m not counting the Crusaders out. Senior point guard K.J. Fitzgerald has had too good of a High School career to not make some noise at the end. Expect Cardinal Newman to advance here. 

Jean Dubuisson II:

Cardinal Newman wins by 10

Game 16- Glades-Central-High-SchoolGlades Central at 3461581_34f3986347384325bb6f36a82deb4c00Oxbridge Academy

Jesse Nadelman:

Oxbridge Academy wins by 22

First year coach Brandon Strassburger scheduled a tough regular season schedule and it paid off as the Thunderwolves are district champs. But there’s still work to do. I think Oxbridge handles Glades Central easily at home in the regional quarters, but the reward is another date with Cardinal Newman at home in the regional semifinals.

Jean Dubuisson II:

Oxbridge Academy wins by 15

Region 4 

Game 5- photo1825Calvary Christian at 1418402712_st_andrew's_scotsSaint Andrew’s

Jesse Nadelman:

Calvary Christian wins by 5

This might be the best game in the state in the regional quarterfinals. Earlier in the year, Saint Andrew’s went into Calvary and got legendary head coach John O’Connell his 600th career win. I know Johnny O will have the Scots ready – and the home-court advantage is big with Saint Andrew’s having a great home crowd – but can they beat Calvary twice? I don’t think so. Calvary will use its size more in this one, as 7-footer Victor Uyaelunmo will be key. The Scots will have trouble scoring as most teams do against Calvary, and I see the Eagles advancing to the regional semis.

Jean Dubuisson II:

Saint Andrew’s wins by 5

This is almost like a State title game, but it’s in the first round of the playoffs WOW!  This by far will be the game to be at in South Florida.  Throw the first meeting out the window. Saint Andrew’s 66, Calvary Christian 58 (at Calvary) was the score then. This game will boil down to which each coach will have their troops READY!!!  In this situation, I have to go with the more seasoned Coach.  Coach O’Connell has been around a long time, so he’s been in pressure games and situations.  Anthony Polite (Sr) 6’6 (Florida State University Signee) and company remember the taste from last year’s lost to Westminster Christian (Justin Brown’s big night) in the regional finals.  A game that Polite would like to make sure that doesn’t stay with his legacy with The Scots.

Game 6- 1443455753_st_john_paul_ii_academy_eaglesSt. John Paul II at alogoUniversity School

Jesse Nadelman:

University School wins by 25

University School is another team playing its best basketball at the perfect time. Head Coach Adrian Sosa Jr.’s young Sharks have lost just once since December 28th, and went on the road and beat Calvary for a district title. Their reward is getting to host St. John Paul – a team in which ex-North Broward coach Scott Williams has built up in just three years there, but a game U-School will cruise in – and getting to host the regional semifinals. As Sosa said, the Road to Lakeland goes through U-School now.

Jean Dubuisson II:

University School wins by 20+

Game 7- 8a8fb7df8c2e4e4dbdaf9d52dc18090cKey West at materbottom1.png.htmlMiami Lakes Academy

Jesse Nadelman:

Mater Lakes Academy wins by 21

Mater Lakes Academy went undefeated in district play and won a district title without having a home gym to practice in. Unbelievable, and great story. That story continues, as it will be a long trip for Key West to Miami just so have the Bears crush the Conchs in the regional quarterfinals.

Jean Dubuisson II:

Mater Lakes Academy wins by 20

Game 8- LogoBooker T. Washington at teamlogo_1398_1337268769933Gulliver Prep

Jesse Nadelman:

Gulliver Prep wins by 17

Coach Manny Bloom always has Gulliver ready at this time of year. District champs, expect the Raiders to have no issues with Booker T. Washington in the regional quarterfinals. Gulliver versus Mater Lakes Academy could setup to be a very good showdown in the regional semifinals.

Jean Dubuisson II:

Gulliver Prep wins by 10

CLASS 6A

Region 4  

Game 7- UnknownArchbishop McCarthy at hsdm16Suncoast

Jesse Nadelman:

Suncoast wins by 14

Archbishop McCarthy surprised a lot of people by downing American Hritage (Plantation) to get to the district finals and nearly knocking off Hallandale before losing in the triple overtime. I don’t think the Mavericks can do it again though and upset Suncoast. Suncoast is a very underrated team and the Chargers – although young – are talented and should win at home to advance to regional semis.

Jean Dubuisson II:

Suncoast wins by 15 

Game 8- FPW3Westwood (Fort Pierce) at ic7G8ilX_400x400Hallandale

Jesse Nadelman:

Hallandale wins by 24

Hallandale is very talented and geared to make a deep run in 6A, similar to what Coconut Creek did last year. The Chargers didn’t lose a district game this year and I expect them to breeze by Westwood to advance to regional semis.

Jean Dubuisson II:

Hallandale wins by 10

CLASS 7A

Region 4 

Game 5- 1280px-Carolina_Hurricanes.svgNortheast at high-school-football-player-SebastianRiverLogo_7361446_ver1.0_640_480Sebastian River

Jesse Nadelman:

Northeast wins by 11

The Hurricanes may be one of the best teams in Florida to not win a district championship. Northeast is extremely talented, and lost by just on at Dillard in the district title game. As the season has gone on, they have continuously played better. Sebastian River is a good team and getting a win there will be tough, but I think Northeast’s talent will just be too much at the end of the day.

Jean Dubuisson II:

Northeast wins by 10

Game 6- logo_okeechobee_highOkeechobee at logoDillard

Jesse Nadelman:

Dillard wins by 19

Okeechobee has had a great season and has a lot of talent, but getting a win at Dillard is just too tall of a task. Dillard is primed for a run at being back-to-back state champions, and winning in the regional quarterfinals is the first step. Dillard’s talented group including Jordan Wright, FSU-Signee RaiQuan Gray, Bowling Green signee Joniya Gadson, and others will be hard for any team to beat.

Jean Dubuisson II:

Dillard wins by 20 

Game 7- 7504660_a5d3231254a143e2b182f0f758ff2bfeBelen Jesuit at miami-norlandMiami Norland

Jesse Nadelman:

Miami Norland wins by 24

Dewan Huell or not, Lawton Williams’ teams are always ready to play in the postseason. They are young, but don’t count Miami Norland. Ever. The first step in regionals for the Vikings is to take care of business against Belen Jesuit at home in the regional quarterfinals, which I think they will without much problem.

Jean Dubuisson II:

Miami Norland wins by 10

Game 8- carol-city-logoCarol City at 7bab56e03af3fc8140d576ddb3b2603d_400x400Doral Academy

Jesse Nadelman:

Carol City wins by 5

Doral Academy is a tough team and they’ve had a good season, but I put a lot of weight on strength of schedule. Carol City has had a hard schedule this season and Doral hasn’t, which is a big factor in preparing the Chiefs for this game. Carol City also has just two losses since January 16th – both against Norland – and I like the Chiefs to go on the road and pull this one out in the regional quarterfinals.

Jean Dubuisson II:

Doral Academy wins by 3

CLASS 8A

Region 4

Game 5- Ls_new_logo_1__thumbFort Lauderdale at images-1Palm Beach Lakes

Jesse Nadelman:

Palm Beach Lakes wins by 24

Palm Beach Lakes is a really good team. I mean really good. I don’t think enough people realize that. The Rams will be forced with one task in this game: limit Jeffrey Prophete. Prophete – South Florida’s leading scorer and Towson signee – has led Fort Lauderdale to regionals, a place not matter people thought they’d be. I think the road ends here though, as Palm Beach Lakes makes a statement that they’re not messing around by winning big. 

Jean Dubuisson II:

Palm Beach Lakes wins by 10

Game 6- Unknown-2Dwyer at Unknown-1Blanche Ely

Jesse Nadelman:

Blanche Ely wins by 10

Melvin Randall is one of the best coaches in the nation, and just so tough to beat at this time of year. Blanche Ely is searching to three-peat as state champions and it’s going to be hard for anyone to stop them. Dwyer is very good, and its size and ability to shoot the ball will make this interesting, but Randall will have the Tigers ready to advance at home.

Jean Dubuisson II:

Blanche Ely wins by 15

Game 7- swamplogoGoleman at NT Logo drop shadow TransparentNova

Jesse Nadelman:

Nova wins by 22

Goleman did a nice job of making the district title game before falling to Mater Academy, but I don’t see them knocking off Nova. Nova is very talented and won big against a good McArthur team in the district championship. The Titans play their best basketball at home, and I see them winning big again to advance to the regional semis.

Jean Dubuisson II:

Nova wins by 20+

Game 8- mustang7.jpgMcArthur at 900A76F0-64BE-4A83-8CE6-0D11AB91B915-37672-0000041DD4A7B0B6e8054af9f3Mater Academy

Jesse Nadelman:

Mater Academy wins by 3

McArthur upset Mater last year in the regional semifinals, so the Lions will be out to get revenge in a big way. I think McArthur makes this game close, however. The Mustangs have less talent than years past, but head coach Warren Gale is very good and will have them ready after losing big in the district title. I think, in the end, Mater will be too much, especially at home, but don’t McArthur to back down in this one.

Jean Dubuisson II:

Mater Academy wins by 1

This is too close to call; the difference will be if The Mustangs can contain (Soph) (G) 6’4 Damarre Monsanto arguably the best shooter in South Florida. Look for this game to come down to the final minute of the game.

CLASS 9A

Region 3 

Game 13- t961XDK_Atlantic at wellington logoWellington

Jesse Nadelman:

Wellington wins by 5

Atlantic is really good team, and this will be a close game even though it’s at Wellington because both teams are evenly matched. But there’s one difference between the two. One has Trent Frazier. The Illinois signee isn’t going to let his team lose in his senior year, and that’s why I like the Wolverines to down Atlantic in the regional quarterfinals. 

Jean Dubuisson II:

Wellington wins by 10

Game 14- 1369983_a022920a97824d0382b8cbe5325b5a6fJohn I. Leonard at 1663Lake Worth

Jesse Nadelman:

Lake Worth wins by 16

The Trojans play excellent defense, and you know what they say: Defense wins championships. Fresh off taking home a district title, expect an underrated Lake Worth team to get the win Thursday and advance to the regional semifinals.

Jean Dubuisson II:

Lake Worth wins by 10

Game 15- free-cincinnati-bengals-vector-logo-B1FyOF-clipartPiper at CoralSprings1Coral Springs

Jesse Nadelman:

Coral Springs wins by 21

Coach Devin Barta has Coral Springs as district champs again, the third time in the four years he’s been at the school. Piper has not played its best basketball to finish the season, and lost to Cypress Bay in the district final. I think the Colts ride their momentum from districts and win big over the Bengals on Thursday night.

Jean Dubuisson II:

Coral Springs wins by 20

Defending state champion Coral Springs seems to forget that they graduated pretty much their top seven scores from last year and are still playing with the passion that their head coach, Devin Barta, wears on his sleeves. Piper had one of its better seasons this past year going 21-6 but look for the Colts to apply major pressure and turn this game into a track meet quick.

Game 16- DeerfieldDeerfield Beach at 20678628-0330-4300-ac7e-dce5179933b0Cypress Bay

Jesse Nadelman:

Deerfield Beach wins by 9

Typically, this would be a tougher game to pick because of Cypress Bay’s great home court advantage, but word on the street is that the ‘Lightning Lunatics’ have only showed up to Western games this year, and haven’t lived up to the type of student section they have been in the past. Either way, I know Jason Looky will have Cypress Bay ready, but Deerfield Beach will just be way too talented, senior laden, and athletic. Plus, the Bucks are motivated after a heartbreaking loss to Coral Springs in the district title game.

Jean Dubuisson II:

Cypress Bay wins by 2

Probably one of the toughest places to play in South Florida is Cypress Bay; no matter what type of team head coach Jason Looky brings in they always play defense. I forgot to add the ‘Lighting Lunatics’ (equal to Cameron Crazies) make it almost impossible the hear as well.  The Bucks are coming off a good season, making the big 8 final four and (Sr.) (G) 6’0 Edwin Louis leading the way, but I think Cypress Bay pulls this off.

Region 4 

Game 5- LfBe_x0qNorth Miami at Miramar-Patriots-LogoMiramar

Jesse Nadelman:

Miramar wins by 10

Miramar captured the district title over Pines Charter and is a team to look out for. The Patriots are a very talented team with a perfect mix of veterans that have experience and youngsters that are talented, but haven’t been in the moment before. I think North Miami – also equipped with talent – hangs around, but the Patriots pull away to advance to the regional semifinals.

Jean Dubuisson II:

Miramar wins by 10

This should be a defensive battle; this will be a mid-50’s game.  It will come down to two players: North Miami (Pg) 6’3 Jonas Guillaume and Miramar (G) 6’5 Damian Miller.  Both of these guys can GO! 

Game 6- Unknown-3Pembroke Pines Charter at 136214American

Jesse Nadelman:

Pines Charter wins by 6

I think Pines Charter has taken a lot of bumps and bruises this season – and has lost a lot of close games – but is a very talented group. Senior guard Malik Hardy is a Player of the Year candidate, and there are other pieces like guard Eddani Brathwaite that help the Jaguars go. This will be high scoring, and I like Hardy to have a big night and lead Pines Charter to a road win.

Jean Dubuisson II:

American wins by 10

Malik Hardy (Sr) (G) 6’2 (Pines Charter) is a SCORING MACHINE.  Hardy has been in the shadows of guys like Jordan Wright (Dillard) and Jeffrey Prophete (Ft. Lauderdale) in Broward County all season.  Can Hardy carry the Jaguars?  On the other hand, Shaquille Harris (Sr) (G) 6’5 (American) has been one of the most unrated players in Dade County and led the patriots passed North Miami in their district championship.  Look for the tough defense of American to push them past the Jaguars.

Game 7- 0e3a5c69166a47f1ad51ad25edd38f69Miami Killian at huii_fTXSouth Miami

Jesse Nadelman:

South Miami wins by 24

Huge props to 23-year old head coach Austin Perez who – against all odds – has Killian in regionals in just his first season. But South Miami is too good, led by Oklahoma State signees Zack Dawson and Latravian Glover, too get upset this early. Expect the Cobras to cruise into the regional semifinals.

Jean Dubuisson II:

South Miami wins by 20

Game 8- Unknown-1Coral Gables at Georgia State Panthers Logo Iron-on Transfers (Heat Transfers) N4489Miami Palmetto

Jesse Nadelman:

Miami Palmetto wins by 14

Head coach Marcos Molina has the Panthers as district champs in just his first year on the job, and Palmetto isn’t nearly done yet. A young, but balanced squad, plays high tempo pressure defense that is tough to beat on the road. That is the heavy task Coral Gables faces, as I think Palmetto wins this one to setup another showdown with South Miami.

Jean Dubuisson II:

Palmetto wins by 15

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Jesse Nadelman

Screen-Shot-2016-01-08-at-10.50.32-AM

Jesse Nadelman is a 17-year old reporter for R.M.F. Magazine who currently is a senior at North Broward Prep. Growing up in South Florida, Jesse has grown an intense passion for sports media. He covers all of South Florida’s top high school basketball teams and events for R.M.F. In addition to contributing to R.M.F, Jesse also writes for FloridaHSFootball.com, covering South Florida High School Football, and contributes to a variety of other outlets.

You could follow Jesse on twitter: @Jessenadelman

Jean Dubuisson II

image1-300x200

Jean is the co-founder of R.M.F. Magazine and the head coach for ASA Miami College.

You could follow Jean on twitter: @DoobieRMF

You could follow R.M.F. Magazine on twitter: @RMFMagazine

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *