ThePrepZone.com Sports Report with Marty Pallman on “The Tailgate” (WRUF Gainesville)
Marty Pallman joined Zach Alboverdi on The Tailgate (WRUF-98.1 FM & 850 AM) on Friday, March 8, from the RP Funding Center in Lakeland (FHSAA Boys Basketball Finals) for ThePrepZone.com Sports Report presented by SunState Federal Credit Union. Here is a recap of the interview:
- Wrapping up basketball – I am back in Lakeland for the boys basketball state semifinals today. Boys basketball wraps up for the season tomorrow (Saturday) with the 7A, 8A, and 9A state championship games. No Gainesville-area teams advanced to Lakeland this year. Lake City Columbia was the last team standing, but was knocked off 66-48 by (eventual state champion) Crestview in a Region 1-8A final last Friday night in Lake City. Crestview scored the first eight points of the game and never trailed to end the Tigers season at 17-13. Bobby Fulton and Darrien Jones led Columbia with 13 points as the Tigers did cut it to a 7-point deficit at one point late in the third quarter, but could never get closer the rest of the game. What a year it was for Columbia boys basketball as they won their first district title and hosted their first regional playoff games since 2000, and came up just a game short of their first Final Four appearance since 1968. Recapping the boys state basketball champions from this week in Lakeland:
- 1A – Madison County won its first state boys basketball title with a 62-60 overtime win against defending 1A state champion Wildwood. Madison County rallied from as much as a 13-point first half deficit and won on two free throws with seven seconds left in the overtime period. The Cowobys won both the 1A football and boys basketball state titles in the 2018-19 school year.
- 2A – Ocoee Central Florida Christian captured its first state boys basketball championship by defeating Jacksonville North Florida Educational Institute 72-67 in the 2A title game.
- 3A – Tallahassee St. John Paul II was also a first-time state champion in boys basketball as they won a thriller, 50-48 in overtime, over Orlando Christian Prep. The Panthers won on a dunk right before the buzzer in the overtime period.
- 4A – Fort Lauderdale Westminster Academy captured its third consecutive state title with a 77-73 win over Seffner Christian on Thursday in Lakeland.
- 5A – Despite being without Duke signee Vernon Carey, Jr., the number three senior in the country according to the ESPN top 100, Fort Lauderdale University School had no trouble in repeating as 5A state champs with an easy 72-46 title game win over Jacksonville Andrew Jackson. University School won their state semifinal (against The Villages) and state championship games by a combined 64 points.
- 6A – The Fort Lauderdale Stranahan Mighty Dragons won their first state boys basketball championship title in school history with a 63-54 triumph over St. Petersburg Lakewood.
- 7A, 8A, 9A state championship games in Lakeland (Saturday, March 9)
- Another basketball note…congratulations to The Rock School boys basketball team, which won its second straight Sunshine Independent Athletic Association title with a 74-67 win over Orlando West Oaks last Saturday. Senior guard BJ Greenlee was MVP of the state tourney. Unfortunately their season came to an end in the Grind Session World Championships in Kentucky with an upset loss to Trinity International of Nevada on Thursday night, but still another fantastic season as The Rock captures another state title.
- Baseball/softball – It’s week two of the high school baseball season. On Wednesday night, Buchholz improved to 3-0 after holding on for a 9-8 win at Keystone Heights. The Bobcats had to hold on after taking an early 9-0 lead. Buchholz is home to 0-3 Columbia tonight (Friday). Santa Fe is off to a 4-0 start after winning a District 5-5A game at Keystone Heights last night 4-1. On Tuesday, freshman Devante Mitchum delivered a walkoff single with the bases loaded to give the Raiders 2-1 win over Gainesville. Santa Fe hosts Keystone again tonight while Gainesville, who is now 1-4, entertains Bradford. Last year’s 1A state runner-up Trenton suffered it’s first loss of the season last night 12-8 to rival Chiefland.
- Meanwhile in softball, Gainesville improved to 5-1 overall and 2-0 in District 3-7A with a 3-0 win at Middleburg. Junior pitcher Alissa Humphrey pitched another shutout with 18 strikeouts in the victory. Humphrey also had two of the Hurricanes three RBI. On Tuesday night, Humphrey was the Sonic Drive-In Player-of-the-Game as she pitched another shutout with 14 K’s and drove in the only run of the game as GHS slipped past Columbia 1-0 in a game broadcast on The Prep Zone. In other softball action Bell defeated Madison County 3-1 last night in a battle of 1A powerhouses. The Bulldogs are now 8-1 and host rival Chiefland, which is 5-1 so far this season. Last year’s 1A state runner-up Trenton is off to a 6-0 start and handed Gainesville its only loss of the season last Friday night at GHS, 2-1. Trenton will host Bell next Friday, March 15 in a District 7-1A battle.
- Wrestling – The FHSAA Wrestling Championships are happening this weekend in Kissimmee. Buchholz sent five wrestlers to state, their most since sending seven to the state finals back in 1987. Columbia also has four wrestlers participating in the state meet this weekend.