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2005 FHSAA Boys Basketball Championships
Posted, 02/23/2005 7:42:02 PM

The Road to Lakeland

Class 6A - Boyd Anderson

Darius Washington has left the state! He has moved on to a fantastic college career. There were quite a few people that felt that Edgewater would have a rough year. They were wrong. Edgewater is my "sentimental" favorite for the Region 1 title. They will pushed by Ed Kershner and the Oviedo Lions in the semifinals. Also, a potential West Orange and Winter Park, featuring Jeremiah Rivers, semifinal could be a battle. Winter Park has struggled this year. Everyone is going to struggle to defeat Edgewater in Region 1.

Region 2 features two teams that have played each other 3 times already this year. Palm Beach Lakes has the edge on Vero Beach with a 2-1 victory margin so far. Seniors Daniel Bryant, Jarrett Brown, and junior Corey Claitt make the Rams go. Vero Beach features 6'-6" senior Ray Cummings and junior Mark Lohuis. One of these two teams are gonna come out on top. You almost have to pick Palm Beach Lakes. Vero Beach will be looking for the upset.

Lauderdale Lakes Boyd Anderson led by senior Ryan Reid will be looking to take the Region 3 title. He has a strong supporting cast and they have only lost 2 games this season. They are my odds on favorite for Region 3. They will get a couple of good games if Norland, featuring junior Zack Peacock, continues their run and you gotta hope that Adrian Thomas and Flanagan can step up and win.

Region 4 features another sentimental favorite in youth strong Miami Senior. Sophomore sensation Edwin Rios, a 5'11" guard, along with juniors 6'-4" Jonathan Hall and 6'-7" Dwayne Collins may make some noise to battle for the Region 4 title. Last year's runnerup South Miami, featuring seniors Brian Asbury, and 6'11" Abdul Herrera, is playing well but it is doubtful they can return to the finals with the path that they have to take. I like Miami Senior in Region 4.

Class 5A - Dillard

Look to see the super sophomores from Lake Howell to take Region 1. Nick Calathes has followed big brother and now provides some height to go with his guard skills. Calathes, Joey Rodriguez, and John Roberson have been playing together for what seems an eternity. Wolfson and Eau Gallie should provide a good semifinal matchup. Lake Howell should buzz right through Region 1.

Region 2 is strong this season. You've got Lake Region, featuring Derek Cassidy and Quentin Cullop playing well, Zaronn Cann and Brandon, and upstart Wharton making some noise. I hate to go against Wharton. But, I think the region belongs to the winner of the Brandon-Lake Region semifinal.

All that I have to say is that Carlos Monroe can play. He missed half of the season and instantly came out and made Cape Coral contenders for Region 3. Lance Kearse and Fort Myers tried to challenge Cape Coral in their district final. So, it would be nice to see another matchup between these two teams. Clearwater has somewhat quietly been on a tear this season. Their 24-1 record speaks well for them. It could be quite a matchup between Clearwater and Cape Coral. I'll take Cape Coral in this region.

Dillard High School had an off year in 2004. That isn't the case this year. A record of 18-2 shows what they can accomplish. The only team capable of holding back Dillard is last year's 5A champion Dwyer. Dwyer features Alonzo Gee and Kyle Marks. But, Dwyer's roster doesn't end there as sophomore Jermol Paul comes off of the bench and senior guard Eric Chavez provides the outside shooting. Region 4 is going to be fun to watch.

Class 4A - Raines

The school synonymous with this class would be Jacksonville - Raines. They have had quite a run for the past several years. However, it will be tough enough be just to get out of Region 2 this year. Seniors Derwin Kitchens, Juwann James, and junior London Warren make Raines go this year. However, upstart Orlando-based Jones led by juniors Calvin Liptrot and Jarvis Williams look to bring an end to the Raines dynasty. It would be nice to see Atlantic (Port Orange) not let their record go to waste. They are definitely the cinderella team of 4A. Maybe they can pull off the upset. Good luck to that!

Remember this name, Miguel Paul. This class of 2008 guard has helped to put Kathleen (Lakeland) backl on the Class 4A map this year. He may be the top player of the Class of 2008 in the state of Florida at this point in time. He does get help from his teammates, sophomores Idell Bell and Terrence Howell. So, he's not exactly alone. They will get challenged in the Region 3 finals by district runner-up Lake Wales. Lake Wales, led by senior 6'-7" Marvin William and Dominique Jones, defeated Auburndale in district play to prove they are playing the best basketball of the season at the right time. The winner in the region, Kathleen, might just end up playing Raines.

Tallahassee Rickards, featuring Jermonte Bush, is turning it on at the right time as well. It looks like it could be smooth sailing until the Region 1 final. They might get a challenge in the Region. But, it does look rather doubtful. Lincoln would love to get them back after losing in their district final game. It just could be an all Tallahassee Region 1 final. Someone will have to step up in a big way to beat either of these teams.

We'll see if senior strong Westwood (Ft. Pierce), led by 6'5" Robert Jones and 6'3" Terry Delion, can improve on their exit last year and make it to the Region 4 final to play Lakewood (St. Petersburg). Lakewood, with seniors Sean Morrison and Mario Telfair, might experience a bit of trouble on their side of the brackt. But, it's pretty doubtful. They lost in their district final. So, you know they'll be ready to get back to their winning ways, which just happens to be the best record in Class 4A.

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