Local boys high school basketball regional semifinals for classes 4A and 1A are in action tonight.
In Class 1A: 11-10 Pahokee takes on 17-12 Bell, 15-7 Chiefland is visiting 15-12 Wildwood, and 12-16 Hamilton County is going to 24-1 Hawthorne. Hawthorne has shown dominance all season only falling once to Bolingbrook and going 8-0 in 1A. But according to coach Greg Bowie, their record does not mean a thing.
“Records this time of year don’t matter,” Bowie said. “All of that stops after regular season play. Once you get in to post season no one wants to go home. Early on Hamilton were missing some guys and put it together in the second half of the season.”
Hawthorne has had all of their success this season on defense and spreading the ball. Scoring wise, all players keep it consistent putting up seven or eight points. Only one player averages double digits, which was 12 points.
“This team is committed to defense and I’m not sure on stats on the other teams but we have to be top 10 top 20 teams in the state in taking charges,” Bowie said. “We do it as a group and collectively and we don’t depend on one person.”
Another interesting matchup is going to be Chiefland visiting Wildwood. Guard Marcus Niblack and Wildwood have had impressive numbers this season. Going over .500 with a rough schedule and Niblack being second in the state in scoring averaging 24 points. Chiefland is going to have to use some pressure and cause Wildwood to spread the floor.
In Class 4A: 22-4 Jacksonville Providence will be traveling to 22-4 P.K. Yonge. The most even matchup you will find in these Regional Semi-Finals is with P.K. Yonge going 4-0 in their class and Providence going 3-0. According to coach Johnson from P.K. Yonge, his team will show resiliency tonight shut as they have all season.
“When you look at us you will see a set of guys that may not be the tallest but a set of guys that are always going to be competing on the court,” Johnson said. “We are athletic team no matter the position. We have pressure type players that can shoot the ball well. They will see resiliency that you can see in a number of our games we fought and you saw the outcome at the end of the game.”
Providence is a big team when it comes to size. They attack the board well and spread the court. Having such a talented roster, coach Johnson is looking to be aggressive all day.
“They have a height size advantage on us, we are going to build off what we can do to change the outcome through our pressure,” Johnson said.
All matchups for tonight’s Regional Semi-Finals will begin at 7 p.m.