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By Pat Lammer Staff Writer LAKELAND — Legendary coach Melvin Randall earned his record ninth state championship in Blanche Ely’s 57-52 victory over Bradenton Lakewood Ranch in the Class 8A state title game at RP Funding Center. Randall has won seven state championships at the helm of the Tigers after winning two at Deerfield Beach. “I’m…

March 10, 2019

By Pat Lammer Staff Writer LAKELAND — Dillard never could get its offense untracked Saturday. The Panthers were held to single-digit points in each of the first three quarters in falling to Crestview, 50-40, in the FHSAA Class 7A state championship game at RP Funding Center. The loss was the first for a Broward County…

March 9, 2019

By Pat Lammer Staff Writer LAKELAND — Wellington is headed to the state championship game for the third time in five seasons. The Wolverines held Orlando Evans to 11 points in the first half on the way to completely dominating the Trojans, 50-32, Friday night in a Class 9A state semifinal at the RP Funding…

By Dave Brousseau Staff Writer LAKELAND – This Blanche Ely victory was one was for the ages. With 3.8 seconds remaining in regulation and the score tied, Malachi Hazelton stood at the free throw line. Calm and confident, the junior forward sank both attempts. That great comeback in the Tigers state Final Four history was…

By Dave Brousseau Staff Writer LAKELAND – DeShawn Bartley saved Dillard’s quest for a Class 7A boys state basketball title. The senior guard scored seven points in overtime, including four free throws in the final 10.7 seconds to help clinch a 47-44 victory over Hillsborough in a state semifinal game at the RP Funding Center…

March 8, 2019

By Pat Lammer Staff Writer LAKELAND — Davie University School — ranked No. 10 nationally in the BallIsLife Fab 50, No. 12 by MaxPreps and No. 22 in the USA Today poll — routed Jacksonville Andrew Jackson, 72-46, Thursday evening to repeat as FHSAA Class 5A state champions at RP Funding Center. The Sharks (27-4)…

By Dave Brousseau Staff Writer LAKELAND – The Stranahan boys basketball team hadn’t been this close to a state title since Dwight Eisenhower was president, Buddy Holly was still alive, and the idea of a moon landing was fiction. But as the seconds ticked away, 62 years of frustration came to a celebratory conclusion. Stranahan…

By Dave Brousseau Staff Writer LAKELAND – This storybook ending really hasn’t reached its conclusion. That’s yet to be determined where that may fall. But on Thursday another chapter of the Westminster Academy boys’ basketball program further enriched itself. You see following the Lions 77-73 victory over Seffner Christian for the Class 4A state championship…

March 7, 2019

By Dave Brousseau Staff Writer LAKELAND – Sixty years of Stranahan boys’ basketball has been waiting for this moment. That wait was worth it as the Dragons made the most this opportunity on Wednesday, defeating Nature Coast 76-45 in a Class 6A semifinal at the RP Funding Center. Stranahan (26-6) will play Lakewood in the…

By Dave Brousseau Staff Writer LAKELAND – So this is what life will be like without 6-10 senior center Vernon Carey Jr. Combined with Roger McFarlane’s 25 points and Scottie Barnes 23 points, University School moved a step closer to defending its Class 5A state title by crushing The Village Charter 91-53 in a state…

March 6, 2019