District boys basketball: Top seeds Zephyrhills, Ridgewood reach final
WESLEY CHAPEL — Zephyrhills cruised to a 77-60 win over Hudson and Ridgewood staved off a late comeback bid by Anclote for a 56-53 win in Wednesday’s Class 6A, District 8 semifinals. That sets up Friday night’s championship match at 7 between the top two seeds with Zephyrhills aiming for a repeat.
“It’s great,” Mike Novak said of making the playoffs in his first-year as Zephyrhills’ coach after replacing Alan Reed in the offseason. “Like I told the kids; we’re in, we’re happy.”
Aliza Quiles scored a game-high 21 points to lead three Bulldogs in double figures. Dre’wan Clarke added 18 points and Anthony Antoine 17. Zephyrhills (18-9) nearly had five players score in double figures with Kurt Robbins and Myles Carter finishing with nine apiece.
Mark Calleja, who had 32 points in Hudson’s 89-83 quarterfinal win over host Wesley Chapel, led the Cobras (16-11) with 19 against Zephyrhills. Nick Richardson, who had five of his six 3-pointers in the second half, added 18.
The nightcap was much closer with Anclote leading 22-19 at halftime. Ridgewood (18-9) rallied in the third, riding an 11-1 run to take a 37-30 lead heading into the final quarter.
The Sharks (16-11) pulled within three points twice in the final two minutes on a trey and three-point play by Marquez Cooper, who finished with 22 points. But the Rams made 8-of-10 free throws down the stretch to stave off an Anclote comeback bid.
Ty Quiroz led Ridgewood with 22 points and teammate Giovanni Charles added 12. Jacob Hester had 12 for Anclote.