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Thursday, Jun 21, 2018
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Prep basketball: Boys region quarterfinals preview

All games at 7 p.m. tonight


WHO: Newsome (16-9) at St. Petersburg (20-3)

NEED TO KNOW: Newsome advanced to the district championship as a fourth seed and will make its third region appearance and first since 2010, when the team made the region final. The Wolves are led by senior duo Hayden Harkins and Anthony Gamble. St. Petersburg, the No. 4-ranked team in the FABC 8A state poll, is making its 11th consecutive regional appearance and is led by 6-foot-5 forward Dayon Griffin, who has signed with Louisiana Tech.


WHO: Palm Harbor University (14-9) at Wharton (19-6)

NEED TO KNOW: Palm Harbor is making its third region appearance and first since 2003. Wharton, which captured its fifth consecutive district title last week, reached the state final four for the first time in school history last season. Senior guard Jack Taylor leads the Wildcats offense and is complemented by the inside play of Auden Tate and Chase Litton, and the perimeter shooting of Scott Sollazzo.


WHO: Brandon (15-12) at Freedom (16-6)

NEED TO KNOW: Brandon is making its second straight region appearance. The Eagles lost in the quarterfinals last season to Bartow. Roderick Davis, a 6-foot-7 center who has signed with Wright State, leads the Eagles, while speedy guard Pedro Lopez controls the pace. Freedom is making its second region appearance in program history, the first coming in 2005. The Patriots have three players averaging double figures in scoring — Miguel Rojas, Malik Robinson and Sheldon Odunna.


WHO: Sickles (16-11) at Strawberry Crest (21-6)

NEED TO KNOW: The backcourt duo of Isaac Holder and Jaaron Barrett has led the Gryphons in scoring the second half of the season, and Sickles has 6-8 center Bryce Nickels (Youngstown State) protecting the rim in the paint. The Chargers are making their second region appearance in program history. Senior guard and Division I prospect Malik Channer leads the team with 13.5 points and 5.8 assists per game, while Austin Griffin adds 12.2 points and 7.4 rebounds per game. Strawberry Crest is 10-0 at home this season.


WHO: Mitchell (22-5) at Lennard (22-4)

NEED TO KNOW: The Mustangs, the 10th-ranked team in the 6A state poll, are making their third consecutive region appearance. Mitchell reached the region semifinals last season. Junior Lawrence leads the Mustangs with 15.6 points per game. Lennard is making its second consecutive region appearance and is seeking its first playoff win. Senior guard Caelen Watts is the Longhorns’ leading scorer with 18.7 points per game.


WHO: Jefferson (21-7) at Largo (23-2)

NEED TO KNOW: Jefferson is making its first region tournament appearance since 2006 and is seeking its first postseason victory since 1976. The Dragons have three players averaging double figures in scoring — Tamir Blackshear, Mauric Moore and Vernon Jackson. Largo is ranked No. 3 in 6A and is making its second straight region appearance. The Packers reached the 6A region championship last season


WHO: Gibbs (17-8) at Jesuit (18-8)

NEED TO KNOW: Gibbs is ranked No. 5 in the 5A state poll. Junior Barry Brown leads the Gladiators with 20.5 points per game, while highly recruited 6-11 junior center Sajon Ford is averaging 6.5 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game. Gibbs lost in the region semifinals last season. Jesuit, the defending 5A state champion, is making its fifth straight region appearance. Junior Christian Whidden is averaging 18 points per game and is shooting nearly 40 percent from 3-point range. Junior Daniel Darst adds 14.1 points and 5.4 rebounds per game.


WHO: Robinson (17-10) at Lakewood (10-11)

NEED TO KNOW: Robinson last reached the region tournament in 2012, when the Knights advanced to the region championship. Senior guard Cody Brown leads the Knights with 15.6 points per game, while junior center Travis Forehand adds 11.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game. Lakewood upset Gibbs in the District 10 championship, 66-62. Gibbs won both regular-season meetings. The Spartans last reached the region tournament in 2012.


WHO: Frostproof (11-8) at Berkeley Prep (24-3)

NEED TO KNOW: Frostproof last reached the postseason in 2009. Berkeley Prep, the No. 2-ranked team in 4A, reached the region championship last season. Senior forward Justin Gray, who has signed with Texas Tech, leads Berkeley Prep with 17.8 points per game, while Craig Bowman adds 15.1 per game. Since returning to the team in January after suffering a broken hand earlier in the season, Marshall Holmes has averaged 13.2 points per game.


WHO: Tampa Catholic (15-12) at Avon Park (18-7)

NEED TO KNOW: Tampa Catholic defeated Avon Park in the quarterfinals last year, 75-38. The Crusaders have been led by 6-6 forward Chivarsky Corbett, a Delaware signee who is averaging 20.3 points, 9.5 rebounds and 3.1 blocks per game. Avon Park is making its fifth straight region appearance.


WHO: Brooks-DeBartolo (19-8) at Lakeland Christian (15-8)

NEED TO KNOW: Brooks-DeBartolo makes its first region appearance under first-year coach Brian Reeves. Three players are averaging double figures in scoring for the Phoenix, led by junior guard Michael Obi, then Jarred Anderson and Jio Molina. The Phoenix defeated Lakeland Christian in the regular season, 54-34. Brooks Wilson leads the Vikings with 11.3 points per game.


WHO: Fort Meade (7-14) at Tampa Prep (23-3)

NEED TO KNOW: This matchup marks the 20th anniversary since the Miners upset Tampa Prep in the quarterfinals in 1994, when the Terrapins were 33-2 and ranked second in the state. Tampa Prep enters the game ranked No. 4 in 2A and is making its 10th consecutive region appearance. Sophomore Juwan Durham, a 6-10 center, is averaging 20.9 points, 11.7 rebounds and 5.6 blocks per game for the Terrapins.


WHO: Cambridge Christian (17-8) at Bayshore Christian (23-3)

NEED TO KNOW: The Lancers, ranked No. 9 in 2A, last reached the postseason in 2012 and are coming off a 54-25 loss to Academy at the Lakes in the district championship. Bayshore Christian, the No. 8 team in 2A, defeated Cambridge Christian during the regular season, 72-47. The Faith Warriors last reached the region tournament in 2008 and have four players averaging double-digit points — Matt Eckermann, Josh Humphries, Greg Johnson and Eric Davis.

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