After two 30-plus point wins over Universal Academy in the regular season, Academy at the Lakes (14-10) struggled early in the Class 2A, District 7 semifinals. The Wildcats and Universal were tied after the first quarter of a sloppy contest before AATL pulled away in a 67-51 win.
“It was ugly,” AATL coach Tom Haslam said. “It wasn’t pretty.”
The Wildcats used a key run at the end of the second to take a nine-point lead into the break and opened the third with another rush of scoring to reach a third consecutive postseason.
Ethan Haslam led AATL with 21 points, and sophomore Daniil Shcherbinin had a breakout night with nine points.
AATL advances to play host Cambridge Christian (17-7), which beat Tampa Bay HEAT 58-25 in the other semifinal. The Lancers scored almost as many points in the first quarter (24) as their opponent scored all night.
Twelve different players scored for Cambridge, which was led by sophomore Brandon White’s 17 points.
Cambridge and AATL split the two previous meetings by a combined 11 points.