LAND O’ LAKES — To the surprise of many, the last Pasco County boys basketball team standing is Academy at the Lakes.
The Wildcats, however, are not surprised, especially after reaching the region final last season. But once again, Academy is a game away from the state semifinals at the Lakeland Center and tonight travels to Orlando Christian Prep (27-1) at 7.
“It’s going to be hard,” Wildcats coach Tom Haslam said. “They go nine or 10 deep. We have to limit their possessions and we’ll probably need to hold onto the ball a little longer on possessions. I think they’re similar to a St. Petersburg High. We played fairly well against St. Pete, for most of the game. We’ve played a fairly tough schedule on purpose.”
Orlando will bring 6-foot-6 UCF commit Adonys Henriquez, and forwards Jonathan Joseph (Stetson) and Dmitri Thompson, who has offers from Miami, Purdue, Oklahoma State, UCF and USF.
Academy has its own duo of junior Ethan Haslam (20.6 ppg) and senior Malik Hall (17.5 ppg), both of whom scored 23 points in Tuesday’s 69-53 win against Bayshore Christian.
“Not knocking any team, but there’s quite a jump from Bayshore Christian to Orlando Christian,” Haslam said. “But we embrace the challenge.”
Correspondent Andy Villamarzo can be reached at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @avillamarzo.