Region Semis Wrap Up & Finals Preview: Class 5A thru 7A

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CLASS 5A

We limped home with a mediocre 5-3 record Tuesday night with our picks in this classification.  Both Naples and Pines Charter played the role of spoiler on the road while Okeechobee held off Boyd Anderson at home.  Must admit to being a bit surprised by some of the large margins of victory in games in the north and southwest part of the state.

Best Matchup: Jacksonville Lee hosting Tallahassee Rickards is going to be a great game.  There is lots of talent on both teams.  Rickards has the pedigree to go on the road and win.  Whichever team comes out on top will be favored to get to the state title game.

Best Chance for an Upset: Jones should be able to go into Sebring and play competitively.  The Tigers have bounced back from a rough start and seem to be firing on all cylinders.  Sebring is a tough place to play but Jones has been tested by playing some of the best competition in Central Florida.

Our Picks

Jacksonville Lee over Tallahassee Rickards

Sebring over Orlando Jones

Clearwater over Naples

Pembroke Pines Charter over Okeechobee

CLASS 6A

Our only blemish in our 7-1 record from Tuesday night was under-estimating Lake City Columbia at home.  The game of the night had to be in Fort Myers, where the host Green Wave squeezed by visiting St. Petersburg 110-108 in FIVE OTs!!  Talk about an instant classic!

Best Matchup: Unquestionably it is Mater Academy taking on Dillard.  These are two of the better teams in the state regardless of classification.  Both teams have outstanding players and coaches with A LOT of championship rings.  No doubt the fire marshall will be there counting bodies to make sure occupancy limits are observed.

Best Chance for an Upset: There doesn’t seem to be one in this classification on Friday night.  Seems like the home teams, especially Bartow and East Lake, should advance if they play to their level and not that of their opponents.

Our Picks

Lake City Columbia over Daytona Beach Mainland

Bartow over Tampa Hillsborough

Tarpon Springs East Lake over Fort Myers

Hialeah Mater Academy over Fort Lauderdale Dillard

CLASS 7A

We are not going to complain about a subpar 5-3 record from Tuesday.  Ocoee won in OT and their game against Dr. Philips was a push.  Park Vista’s four point win over Dwyer on the road is huge for that program.  Oakridge’s 28 point margin of victory is more surprising than the fact that the Pioneers won.

Best Matchup: Ocoee has to go to Seminole and the game should be a contrast in styles.  Ocoee has the size that Seminole doesn’t while Seminole relies on pressure defense to generate offense.  More often than not, Orlando/Orange County teams have had their way with squads from neighboring Seminole County.  We’ll see if things go differently Friday night.

Best Chance for an Upset: Western over Miramar would be the only real upset of the night if it should happen.  All of the other games should be considered toss-ups.

Our Picks

Sanford Seminole over Ocoee

Windermere over Orlando Oakridge

West Palm Beach Forest Hill over Lake Worth Park Vista

Miramar over Davie Western