In a strong early-season matchup pitting last year's FHSAA Class 5A runner-up and 1A champion, the Trinity Catholic boys basketball team topped visiting Wildwood, 67-51, on Friday night.
"This is good for us," Celtics' coach Carlos Villalobos said. "(WHS) is going to be back (at the final four) in Lakeland, and (junior point guard) Marcus Niblack had 32 points.
"It's nice to get a win against a quality team like that."
Trinity jumped out to an early lead that got as high as 18 points, but Wildwood (1-2) clawed back to get the margin within single-digits. But the Celtics (3-0) closed well, making 10-of-10 foul shots and made some critical defensive stops in the final quarter.
The hosts were led by 2017-18 Star-Banner Player of the Year Dominic Pugh (22 points, 6 assists), Gunner Munn (15 points, 10 rebounds), Montez Leath (9 points) and Jarvey Gainey (9 points).
TC will face Columbia on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Williston High School in the Mighty Ike Shootout.
Lake Weir 68, Forest 58: At LWHS, the hosts outscored the Wildcats 25-8 in the first quarter. The Hurricanes were led by Jalen Smith (23 points, 11 rebounds), Titus Lake (20 points, 4 3-pointers, 2 assists), Fabian Flores (9 points, 8 rebounds) and T.K. Pitts (8 points, 10 rebounds).
Lake Weir (4-1, 2-1 in District 4-7A) will visit North Marion on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.
Redeemer Christian 54, Village View Christian 53: At Redeemer, the hosts were led by Harrison Pierson (22 points, 13 rebounds), Josiah Schwab (12 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 blocks), Sam Steed (7 points, 2 assists) and Garrison Reed (7 points, 6 assists).
Redeemer (3-3) will host OCA on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
St. John 82, Classical Prep 51: At St. John, the Saints were led by Jemel Facey (12 points, 8 assists, 8 steals), Courtlen Greene (23 points), Evan Williams (10 points, 8 rebounds, 6 blocks) and Marshall Asleson (10 points).
St. John (4-1, 3-0 in District 4-2A) will visit Seven Rivers on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.
Forest 48, Lake Weir 36: At FHS, the Wildcats were paced by Kimmy Kohlmeier (19 points), Abby Kohlmeier (11 points) and Taniya Richard (4 points).
The Hurricanes were led by Nikaejah Green (16 points, 5 rebounds, 7 steals) and Bobbi Gadson (15 points, 12 rebounds, 3 blocks).
Forest (3-3) will host North Marion on Monday at 6 p.m. LWHS (1-4) will host Mount Dora at 6 p.m. on Tuesday.
Redeemer Christian 45, Hope Christian 10: At Redeemer, Rain Smith (14 points, 4 steals), Laine Burgin (7 points, 9 rebounds) and Mckenzie Todd (6 points, 6 rebounds, 6 steals) led the hosts.
Redeemer (2-4) will visit OCA on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.
Ponte Vedra Nease 73, Vanguard 33: At Lafayette High School in Mayo, competing the Andy Hart Memorial the Knights were paced by Nasia Powell (18 points), Essence Bell (7 points, 12 rebounds, 4 assists) and Shakira Preston (6 points, 6 rebounds).
VHS (3-1) will face Newberry at 11 a.m. on Saturday in the same event.
Heart 44, Conrad 26: At Ocklawaha Bridge Baptist Church, Abbey Keister (18 points, 5 rebounds, 7 steals), Dara Lehman (12 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists) and Alyssa Keister (8 points, 9 rebounds, steal) paced the home team.
Heart (8-1) will host Liberty Christian on Monday at 6:45 p.m.
West Port 3, Belleview 2: At Belleview, WPHS was paced by Gabriel Rodriguez (goal) and Diego Costa (2 goals).
BHS was led by Aidan Balthazar (2 goals) and keeper Jacob Nelson (9 saves).
The Rattlers (0-5-3) will visit North Marion on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.
Mandarin 2, Forest 1: At Mandarin, FHS was led by Sebastian Arango (goal on a penalty kick) against MHS, which is ranked nationally by MaxPreps.
Forest (6-1, 2-1) will visit Sandalwood on Friday at 7:20 p.m.
Forest 3, Mandarin 2: At Mandarin, the Wildcats were paced by Lauren Guynn (2 goals), Kaitlyn Marcy (goal) and Hannah Wagner (assist).
FHS (5-0-1) will visit Mount Dora on Monday at 7 p.m.
Fresh off capturing state championships, Trinity Catholic junior outside hitter Annie Cate Fitzpatrick finished in second place and Vanguard senior libero Essence Bell was fifth in the voting for the Florida Dairy Farmers Miss Volleyball Award, announced on Friday.
VHS's Randy Ewers was third in the coach of the year balloting, while the Celtics' Jeff Reavis placed fifth.
Oviedo senior setter Savannah Vach, a Miami commitment, took home Miss Volleyball, and her coach, Jen Darty, won the coaching award.
— Star-Banner staff reports
Class 2A Championship
Tallahassee North Florida Christian 28, Hialeah Champagnat Catholic 20: At Camping World Stadium in Orlando, North Florida Christian overcame injuries to several key players in midseason and four losses to run the postseason table, knocking off Hialeah Champagnat Catholic 28-20 on Friday in the FHSAA Class 2A state title game at Camping World Stadium.
“My God is amazing. He has done it all for me. I have just been putting in the work the he has blessed me to be able to do. He has done it all for me,” said NFC quarterback J.D. Jerry, who broke his throwing hand in the third week of the season.
Jerry rushed for 68 yards and two touchdowns while throwing for 47 yards. He also booted four point-after attempts. His first score was a 1-yard run with just three seconds left before halftime to put NFC up 14-6. His second score was a 12-yard run with 38 seconds left in the third quarter.
NFC (9-4) took a 7-0 lead on the game’s first play from scrimmage when cornerback T.J. Ward intercepted a pass from Chris Vidal and raced 35 yards for the score.
“I (saw) the ball thrown, and I (saw) him fumbling with the ball and it just flew out of his hands. I (saw) the ball and I got it and looked at the end zone and that was it,” Ward said. “We went through so many losses this year. We lost Jerry and we thought it was over. But at the same time, we knew it was not over and we had more to play. Once he came back, we were gone and we did it.”
Champagnat (8-6) scored on a 2-yard run by Vidal in the first quarter to narrow the gap to 7-6 and on a 4-yard run by Justin Payoute in the third quarter to narrow NFC's lead to 21-14. The Lions also scored on a 3-yard run by Daryn Jones in the fourth quarter, but their last desperation drive in the final minute stalled on fourth down.
— Bill Kemp, The Ledger