Gainesville v.s. Orlando Edgewater
After losing its previous three games against Leesburg, the Gainesville High School boys basketball team finally topped them.
With its 74-66 win, the Hurricanes(20-9) take on Orlando Edgewater (25-4) in regional finals play at 7 p.m. on Saturday.
Gainesville coach Kelly Beckham said his team was able to get the victory because of its 3-point defense.
Beating the number one team in the class 6A regional semifinals, according to MaxPreps, is great momentum for Gainesville. Coming into the Leesburg rematch, Gainesville had lost to them by an average of 20 points throughout the season.
Gainesville will need junior foward Isaiah Jackson to step up if they are going to edge Orlando Edgewater. The junior recorded a double-double against Leesburg, posting 38 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.
Orlando Edgewater is coming off a comeback victory against Palm Bay Heritage. Down 11 in the fourth quarter, the Eagles rallied to a 69-66 win after taking the lead when Eddie Keith drained two free throws.
Coach Beckham said Orlando Edgewater and Leesburg are two very similar teams. He said facing Leesburg was great preparation for facing the team from Orlando.
The winner of this game will advance to the state semifinals where they will face either Fort Myers or Miami Norland.
Williston v.s. Lake Highland Prep
Williston’s boys basketball team advanced to its sixth consecutive class 4A regional finals game after defeating Fort White 72-68.
Four Red Devils posted double digit scoring efforts to lead the way in their victory.
Red Devils coach Steve Faulkner has coached the team to four regional finals games and his experience will be key in this game against Lake Highland Prep.
The winner of this game will face either the University School of NSU or Ransom Everglades.
Hawthorne v.s. Hamilton County
The swarming Hawthorne Hornets, led by sophomore Ed Porter, flew past Live Oak Melody Christian 73-55 to advance to Saturday’s class 1A boys basketball regional final against Hamilton County.
Porter scored 29 points and grabbed 15 boards to give Hawthorne’s hopes of a state title alive.
The last time Hawthorne won a state title was back in 1987.
But, Hawthorne will need to get past Hamilton County first if they want to reach the state championship.
Hawthorne coach Greg Bowie said Hamilton County is a solid team and will not be taken lightly.
The winner will face Malone or Holmes County in the state semifinals.
Union County v.s. Baldwin
The Union County Tigers dropped 10 3-pointers against The Villages to advance to the class 1A regional final against district rival Baldwin at 7 p.m. on Saturday.
Senior Shaimea Maeweather had five of those 3-pointers en route to 24 points for Union County.
The last time the Tigers faced the Indians, it was in the district finals. The Indians beat the Tigers 66-62.
The winner will move on to the state semifinals where they await either Cottondale or West Gadsden.
Girls Basketball: Buchholz v.s. Freedom
Buchholz girls basketball is back in the state semifinals game after a 84-79 overtime victory over Viera.
Buchholz was led by Jessica Thomas who scored an astounding 47 points while hitting seven 3-pointers.
Buchholz takes on Tampa Freedom today at 2:30 for the chance to play in the state championship agaisnt either Haines City or Nova.