Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Boys basketball region quarterfinals preview

All games at 7 tonight

6A, Sarasota Riverview (25-5) at Sickles (23-4): The Gryphons will go for their 14th straight win and they haven't lost at home. All-American John Henson (17.7 ppg, 12.5 rpg) can control a game, but point guard Jordan Davis (7.4 apg) really makes this team go.

The pick: Sickles

5A, Blake (20-7) at Clearwater (24-3): The Yellow Jackets' Cinderella season hit a snag when they lost to Hillsborough in the district final. But if the perimeter game of Andre Smith (17.4 ppg, 4.0 apg, 2.8 spg) and twin towers Michael McFarland (13.5 ppg, 7.7. rpg) and Montrey Pride (6.8 ppg, 10.5 rpg) are on top of their games, they will give the Tornadoes a tough effort.

The pick: Clearwater

5A, Largo (23-5) at Hillsborough (20-8): Hillsborough is the perfect example of a team getting hot at the right time. The Terriers have won eight in a row and 10 of 11. Guard Juan Washington (13.1 ppg, 3.1 spg) is one of the area's best players you haven't heard of.

The pick: Hillsborough

5A, Newsome (20-5) at Ridgewood (25-2): Newsome boasts an impressive record, but its loss to the Rams in their last meeting was anything but. The Wolves lost by 36 on New Year's Eve. They've gotten better, but will need more scoring around net filler Samal Shepherd (18.5 ppg). Ridgewood's Lukas Poderis (19.4 ppg, 10.4 rpg) might be the best bay area player north of the county line.

The pick: Ridgewood

5A, Land O'Lakes (17-10) at King (20-6): There might not be a more determined player in the postseason than King senior Toarlyn Fitzpatrick, who wants to make his first playoff appearance memorable and owns a 27-point game and a 25-rebound game this postseason. Include a supporting cast that plays frenetic defense and makes its free throws and the Lions are dangerous.

The pick: King

3A, Fort Myers Dunbar (15-10) at Berkeley Prep (22-5): The Buccaneers have lost just one game in the new year, a span of 15 games. Berkeley has won with a good deal of balance throughout its lineup, including Johnathan Gray (18.1 ppg), Austin Suarez (13.4) and Christian Reintgen 11.0) scoring in double digits.

The pick: Berkeley Prep

3A, Tampa Catholic (9-18) at Fort Myers Bishop Verot (20-9): The Crusaders have a tough road draw (a long drive plus a hostile crowd). It probably doesn't help that they enter having lost four of their past five and scored 55 points only once in that span.

The pick: Bishop Verot

2A, Santa Fe Catholic (7-18) at Tampa Prep (23-4): Yes, Santa Fe Catholic is in the playoffs with just seven wins. It should be an easy match for the Terrapins, who have a relatively clear path to the final four in a weak 2A bracket.

The pick: Tampa Prep

A, Cambridge at (13-12) Lakeland Victory Christian (11-4): The Lancers will have to recuperate from a 26-point loss to Seffner Christian in the district title game, and Cambridge has been streaky, but they draw a pretty weak district champ in the first round.

The pick: Cambridge

A, Lake Wales Vanguard (13-7) at Seffner Christian (19-7): The Crusaders, winners of seven of their past eight, head into the tournament on a roll. Vanguard, like any Seffner opponent, will have to find a way to stop Devin Paularinne (21.3 ppg, 5.9 rpg).

The pick: Seffner Christian

A, Citrus Park Christian (13-13) at Sarasota Christian: The Eagles' .500 record is an indication of their streakiness. Citrus Park is led by the combination of Brandon Hagarty (15.7 ppg. 6.0 rpg) and Jerry Oliver (15.1 ppg, 5.9 rpg).

The pick: Sarasota Christian

Eduardo A. Encina, Times staff writer

Boys basketball region quarterfinals preview 02/18/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 18, 2009 10:22pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Jones: Where are the difference-makers on the Bucs defense?


    ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — They can't tackle. They can't cover. They can't pressure the quarterback, let alone sack him.

    Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor (5) scrambles past Bucs defensive tackle Clinton McDonald (98) during the first half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  2. Bucs-Bills journal: Breakout game for Bucs tight end O.J. Howard


    ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — It's obscured by the final score and a disappointing loss, but Bucs rookie tight end O.J. Howard had a breakout game Sunday, exceeding his season totals for catches and touchdowns in one afternoon.

    Bucs tight end O.J. Howard (80) celebrates a touchdown catch with quarterback Jameis Winston (3) during the second half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  3. Vladislav Namestnikov is Lightning's top-line 'secret'

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Nikita Kucherov is piling up the goals. Steven Stamkos is an assist machine. They make for an impressive pairing in a league that favors scoring pairs over the more traditional three-player scoring lines.

    Tampa Bay Lightning center Vladislav Namestnikov (90) reacts after scoring during the third period of the game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Florida Panthers at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Fla. on Friday, Oct. 6, 2017.
  4. Ex-Lightning forward Brian Boyle returns to practice after cancer diagnosis

    Lightning Strikes

    NEWARK, N.J. — Brian Boyle, diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia last month, was back on the ice with his Devils teammates Sunday after getting cleared to practice for the first time since his diagnosis.

    Brian Boyle has been diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia, a type of bone-marrow cancer that the team's doctor says can be treated with medication, the Devils announced Tuesday. [AP photo]
  5. Bucs-Bills report card: Grading the Bucs' 30-27 loss at Buffalo


    ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Hard to believe, but this was only the second time in their history that the Bucs played a regular-season game in Buffalo. After Sunday loss, they wouldn't mind going another 40 years without playing here again.

    Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter, seen during the first half, had a heck of a day calling plays, Tom Jones writes. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]