As high school basketball comes to a close, the Santa Fe boys team looks for a ticket to the 4A State Semifinals. The Raiders will host The Villages Charter Buffalo Friday at 7 p.m. for a chance at state finals.
Who To Look For
The Santa Fe Raiders are 22-6 overall, and 4-0 in 4A District 5. Contributing to the team’s success is senior Dontell Jenkins, who has achieved two double-doubles this season. Jenkins leads the Raiders in points, averaging 18 per game. He leads the team in field goals made with 117 on the season. Jenkins averages 2.6 assists per game and 1.8 steals per game, the top performer in those categories for the Raiders.
Senior Kyren Washington has the highest field goal percentage of 63%. Washington also leads the team in rebounds with 4.2 per game. Junior Braylon Guyden has made the most baskets behind the arc, 39, with senior Makhi Lewis not far behind with 29.
The Villages Charter is 21-8 on the season and 3-0 in the league. Senior Sam Walters leads the team in points and rebounds. Walters averages 23.9 points per game and 10.1 rebounds per game. Ben Koubek has 3.9 assists for the Buffalo, leading the team in that category. Among these team leaders are Avon Isaac and Christopher Washington Jr, who have 1.3 steals per game and 1.7 blocks per game respectively.
A Note from Coach
Assistant Coach of the Raiders Glen Banks said that it helps that the squad has been in the final four before, with similar contributors except now they are older and more prepared to dominate.
Banks also emphasized “Raider Pride,” which is the term that describes the small community of Alachua County residents that fill the Santa Fe team. He is proud that the team works with what they got.
Banks noted that he attempts to perfect his team’s defensive play, which makes team leader Kyren Washington someone to watch in the matchup.
The Santa Fe Raiders Path
Santa Fe high dominated the Palm Bay Pirates 61-58 in Melbourne on Thursday, Feb. 16 in the first round of playoffs. The team then hosted the Cocoa Tigers in Alachua Tuesday, Feb. 21 and came out on top 60-38. That leads the Raiders to the matchup against The Villages Charter.
The team has a chance to play for the state semifinals on Thursday, Mar. 2. On the other side of that matchup is the Ribault Trojans and the Bishop Kenny Crusaders, who will compete in Jacksonville for the same chance. One of which the Raiders will face on March 2 if they win Friday night.