LAKELAND — No. 1 West Palm Beach Forest Hill tried to run with No. 4 Sanford Seminole, and Seminole guard O’Shae Baker was quite fine with that decision. By the start of the second quarter, Baker could already see fatigue setting in for Forest Hill while he and his teammates were just warming up.


Seminole jumped on Forest Hill to start the second quarter and went on to an 80-59 victory on Friday afternoon in the semifinals of the 2020 FHSAA Class 6A Boys Basketball Championships at the RP Funding Center.


Seminole (27-4) will play No. 2 Miramar for the state title at 8 p.m. on Saturday.


"Tonight was a very great game," Seminole coach Sylvester Wynn said. "We came out with the energy that we wanted. We kept the pressure on and were able to get up by a decent score and try to maintain. At halftime, I was telling the guys, we’re up by 16, so we want to maintain that lead to close out the game."


Amaire Perkins led Seminole with 24 points, five rebounds and four steals. O’Shae Baker scored 16 points with team highs of nine rebounds and six steals. Ladarron Cleveland added 11 points, seven rebounds and five steals.


With the exception of ties at 7-7 and 12-12, Forest Hill led most of the first quarter. Seminole, however, finished strong and scored the last two points of the quarter to make it a two-point game with Forest Hill leading, 21-19.


"I just told the guys to calm down and let’s play our game," Wynn said. "We started playing our game and got back to where we needed to be."


Indeed they did. The Seminoles took charge in the second quarter, outscoring Forest Hill 31-13. The Seminoles opened the quarter with a 10-0 run to take an eight-point lead, 29-21, and never trailed again. Forest Hill never got closer than six points the rest of the game. Leading, 33-27 midway through the second quarter, Seminole closed out the half by outscoring Forest Hill, 17-7, to take a comfortable 50-34 halftime lead.


"In the first quarter, we got them tired," Baker said. "They were already tired in the second quarter. They tried to run with us, and I don’t think they can run with us. They kept making bad decisions and we capitalized on them."


Defense led the charge for the Seminoles. Forest Hill had just one turnover in the first quarter, then had eight turnovers in the second quarter, six coming off steals by the Seminoles. Forest Hill finished with 23 turnovers with Seminole coming up with 20 steals.


"You can’t turn the ball over against a team as good as they are," Forest Hill coach Tony Watson said. "They turn turnovers into baskets."


Initially, it appeared that Forest Hill’s shooting would allow the Falcons to keep pace with the Seminoles. The Falcons made 3 of 7 3-pointers in the first quarter, then was 0 for 14 the rest of the game, including 0 for 5 in the second quarter when the Seminoles began to pull away.


Seminole never let Forest Hill back into the game as it led by as many as 23 points in the third quarter.


Jalen Jeter led Forest Hill with 13 points. Donavan Draper finished with 12 points and 17 rebounds, and Jonathan Mogbo added nine points and 15 rebounds.


Seminole (26-4): Demari Henderson 2-8 0-0 4, Erric Wynn Jr. 2-6 5-7 9, Jacari Henderson 2-3 0-0 5, O’Shae Baker 5-11 4-8 16, Ladarron Cleveland 5-16 0-0 11, Amaire Perkins 9-20 4-5 24, Anthony Coefield 2-4 0-0 4, Joshua Dunlap 0-0 0-0 0, George FoxworthF 0-0 0-0 0, Jerry Addo-Boateng 0-0 0-0 0, Cristhian Cespedes 0-0 0-0 0, Bryce Harrison 1-1 0-0 3, Jaylen Mobley 1-2 0-0 2, Shawn Shaukat 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 30-74 13-20 80


Forest Hill (28-2): Troy Joseph III 2-8 3-4 8, Donovan Draper 5-12 2-5 12, D’Ante Daniels 2-8 2-2 6, Jalen Jeter 5-15 2-2 13, Michael Cooper 1-5 1-2 3, Jonathan Mogbo 4-13 0-0 9, John Pierre 0-0 0-0 0, Octavious Williams III 2-3 0-0 4, Wilfred Bereau 0-0 0-0 0, D’Ontaye Strawter 1-1 0-1 2, Jayshaun Amaker 0-2 0-0 0, Simeon Sweeney 1-1 0-0 2, William Reed 0-1 0-0 0, Adrian White 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 23-70 10-16 59


Seminole;19;31;15;15;8—;0


Forest Hill;21;13;10;15;—;59


FG%: Seminole .405, Forest Hill .329. 3-pt FG:Seminole 7-30 (Henderson 0-1, Wynn Jr. 0-2, Henderson 1-2, Baker 2-6, Cleveland 1-7, Perkins 2-9, Coefield 0-2, Harrison 1-1), Forest Hill 3-21 (Joseph III 1-3, Daniels 0-5, Jeter 1-5, Cooper 0-3, Mogbo 1-3, Amaker 0-1, White 0-1). Rebounds: Seminole 44 (Baker 9), Forest Hill 55 (Draper 17). Fouls Seminole 16, Forest Hill 19. Fouled out: none. Technical: none. Assists: Seminole 13 (Henderson 4), Forest Hill 9 (Draper 3). Steals: Seminole 20 (Baker 6), Forest Hill 9 (Daniels 4). Blocked shots: Seminole 4 (Henderson 2), Forest Hill 3 (Mogbo 2). Turnovers: Seminole 14, Forest Hill 23. Attendance: 0.