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By Times staff writers
© St. Petersburg Times
published March 4, 2003
DURANT AT WINTER PARK LAKE HOWELL
OUTLOOK: Durant (20-11) has R.L. Bond, who pound for pound is as tough as any player in the county. This season, he is averaging 21 points and nine rebounds, but can he do that against a Lake Howell team that has won 26 games? Last week, Durant played well in a 77-65 victory against host King. Lake Howell (26-6) struggled a bit in a 64-56 victory against Daytona Beach Mainland. Maybe Durant is hitting its stride at the right time. Then again, does that matter? Lake Howell might be too good.
CLASS 5A, REGION 3
LARGO AT CAPE CORAL MARINER
OUTLOOK: Mariner (27-1) is No. 1 in the state, and its only loss this season is to Fort Myers. But Largo whipped Fort Myers last month, so throw out the ranking. More important to the Packers' chances is an injury to Mariner guard Dave Anderson, who broke his right elbow in the district final. Mariner rebounded behind 6-foot-9 forward Robert Anderson with an easy victory in a region quarterfinal, but it will miss Anderson's 19 points per game. The Packers (25-6) are not deep, but they are hot. They handled St. Petersburg in Thursday's region game, and that was without great performances from leading scorers Mike O'Donnell and Quinton Gunter. If Fred Marshall and Trevor Bing can reach double figures in points and come close in rebounds, the Packers are capable of another upset.
BOCA CIEGA AT FORT MYERS
OUTLOOK: The Pirates (20-9), a final four team last season, have been baffling all season but found their groove as the career of coach Randy Shuman comes to a close. Senior forward Marquel Brooks had 17 points to lead them in a victory against Palm Harbor U. but along with Jason John will be severely challenged by the inside players of the Green Wave (28-3) -- 6-10 Troy Beatty and 6-8 Robinson Louisme. That could mean the shooting of guards David Keifer and Brian Reeves will be crucial. But defensively, are they quick enough to stop Fort Myers' Brendan Rooney and Matt Hill, who had 17 in the quarterfinals? Probably not, at least not without help from what will require Bogie's best defensive effort of the season.
CLASS 4A, REGION 3
LAKELAND KATHLEEN AT LAKEWOOD
OUTLOOK: One of prep basketball's hottest rivalries the past two seasons is back for Part III. Sure, the players who made it a great rivalry, Lakewood's Marcus Morrison and Kathleen's Rashard Anderson, are in college. But the magnitude of the game should make up for their loss. The Red Devils (22-5) lost their district final to Winter Haven but beat No. 5 Brandon to get a chance to avenge last season's region final loss to the Spartans (25-5). The teams are similar -- strong defensively, quick guards, game-long pressure. And the center matchup, 6-9 Florida-signee Chris Richard versus 6-8 Brian Ligon, promises to be a good one. Whoever takes better care of the ball should win.
CLASS 3A, REGION 3
JESUIT AT ARCADIA DESOTO COUNT
OUTLOOK: It appears Jesuit (23-5) has a legitimate shot at making the state semifinals. But first, the Tigers must win tonight at DeSoto, which could be a challenge. To get here, DeSoto (16-14) won 64-40 against Clewiston, which finished 12-14. Jesuit, however, struggled for more than a half before pulling away with a 61-40 victory against Pasco, which ended up 13-15. The Tigers shouldn't let DeSoto's 16-14 record fool them. Tiger Alan Schonbrun (19.5 points per game) and the rest of his sharpshooting teammates will need to find their range to assure victory.
CLASS 2A, REGION 3
DAYTONA BEACH FATHER LOPEZ AT BERKELEY PREP
OUTLOOK: His name, Spiros Ferderigos, is easy to remember, particularly after you see him score 35 points with seven 3-pointers, which is what he did in a 61-60 victory against Sarasota Cardinal Mooney on Thursday. In that region opener, Ferderigos received some help from his teammates, including Derek Hatcher, who drilled the decisive basket with six seconds left. Tonight, Ferderigos needs even more help because Father Lopez (20-11) appears to be better than Mooney, which finished 15-11. Lopez defeated a tough squad from Orlando First Academy 66-55 on Thursday to advance. Berkeley (20-8), however, does have homecourt advantage.
MELBOURNE FLORIDA AIR AT ST. PETERSBURG CATHOLIC
OUTLOOK: There is just one undefeated team left in the state, and it's in St. Petersburg tonight. The Falcons (25-0) have five players averaging double figures led by standout Andre King-Holland, who has signed with Arkansas State, and 6-11 Russian center Alexander Kaun. Admiral Farragut lost to the Falcons 66-61, and the Barons (18-7) played AFA tough in the preseason. Is Florida Air unbeatable? Not if guards Chad Radosevich and Aaron Holmes can dominate and offset the height advantage. Radosevich had eight 3-pointers last week and has to get close to that many again.
CLASS A, REGION 3
WINTER HAVEN ALL SAINTS' AT ADMIRAL FARRAGUT
OUTLOOK: All Saints' (22-7) is in just its second region playoff game, and it will be its last.Freshman Josh Maynard and eighth-grader Caleb Canlon won't be nearly enough to hold down a Farragut team that could be headed for the final four. When it comes to the remaining Pinellas squads, Farragut (30-2) is as close to a lock for the state semis as there is.Guard John Whitehead's ferocious defense will make life hard for the Saints' guards, and they have not seen the athleticism/size combination of Tommy and Lewis Lampley and Bennie Clyde this season, nor too many times the size inside of 6-8 Vitor Boccardo. This one won't be as ugly as AFA's 84-47 victory Thursday, but it could be close.
OLDSMAR CHRISTIAN AT NAPLES ST. JOHN NEUMANN
OUTLOOK: Oldsmar Christian (26-6), with the second-most victories in the county, is on the map. Trevor Ferguson's 28 points gave it its first region playoff victory a week after it captured its first district title. What's next for the Eagles? How about a road playoff victory? Ferguson is among many weapons the Eagles can turn to, including Larry Bache and Ryan Pannone. Neumann (22-10) has a size advantage and will try to use it. But the free-wheeling Eagles can nullify that by making open shots, something Northside Christian did not do.
-- Compiled by John C. Cotey and Scott Purks.