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TONIGHT'S CLASS 3A SEMIFINAL

WHO: No. 5 Miami Monsignor Pace (30-5) vs. Wesley Chapel (27-3).

WHEN/WHERE: 8:30 p.m., the Lakeland Center.

BROADCAST: The game will be broadcast live on the Internet at www.florida.ihigh.com.

THE GAME: Once again, sixth-ranked Wesley Chapel finds itself looking up at a bigger foe. The Wildcats hope their experience as state semifinalists last season along with relentless pressure defense, hot 3-point shooting and athleticism under the glass makes up for the Spartans' superior height. But then, it's a formula that has worked nearly to perfection with just three losses this season. Wesley Chapel is led by the senior trio of center David Simpson (14.8 ppg), 3-point specialist Eric Sorensen (14.7 ppg) and point guard Zach Mills (12.7 ppg). The Wildcat bench runs nine deep, however, and seven are seniors, so experience isn't a problem. Neither is rebounding. Despite their lack of height, Wesley Chapel usually holds its own thanks to athleticism, quickness and number of bodies. The Wildcats' road back to the final four has taken them through two overtime playoff wins. But the Spartans have been just as clutch. Monsignor Pace, ranked fifth, stunned No. 2 Pahokee in the region semifinals and then took the lead on No. 10 Gulliver Prep with six seconds left to win the region final. The Spartans are led inside by 6-foot-5 Craig Hazel, who scored 19 in the region final to lead his team to the semifinals for the first time since 1999.

UP NEXT: The winner faces either Panama City Bay or Orlando Jones in the championship game Friday at 3:30 p.m.

_ Compiled by Jamal Thalji.

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