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State basketball: Scouting the Hillsborough vs. Choctawhatchee state semifinal

By Bob Putnam
Hillsborough guard Ken Montgomery is helping lead the Terriers into a Class 7A state semifinal Friday morning. (Scott Purks, Special to the Times)

Class 7A: Hillsborough (25-5) vs. Choctawhatchee (26-2), 10 a.m.. Friday

How they got here: Hillsborough d. Land O'Lakes 61-46, d. Springstead 91-59, d. Daytona Beach Mainland 53-49; Choctawhatchee d. Milton 69-35, d. Crestview 71-56, d. Gainesville 54-52

Outlook: The Terriers are in the state semifinals for the first time since 1996. Ken Montgomery, a Maryland football commit, hit a key 3-pointer and made his presence known on defense in last week's win over Mainland in the region final. His father, Kenric Montgomery Sr., was a junior on Hillsborough's last semifinal team in 1996. Christian DeLeon (11.9 points per game), Myles Cowart (11.1) and Tyriq James (10.6) are all averaging double figures in scoring. The Terriers have other weapons, too. Warren Mclymont, a transfer from Tampa Bay Tech, has averaged 18 points in his past three games and had a career-high 25 against Springstead in the region semifinals. Defense, though, is Hillsborough's strength. The Terriers have held opponents to 59 points or fewer in all but one win. The Indians, ranked ninth overall in the state by MaxPreps, are in the state semifinals for the first time since 2002. Diante Smith, a 6-foot-6 forward who has offers from Miami and St. John's among others, is averaging 17.5 points and 6.8 rebounds for Choctawhatchee.