tampabay.com

Boys hoops: North Suncoast region semifinals preview

By JOEY KNIGHT AND IZZY GOULD
Published February 19, 2008


All games at 7 tonight. Cost is $6.

Class 5A, Region 2

Brandon (22-4) at Ridgewood (24-3)

Winner faces: Lake Howell (23-5) or Winter Haven (16-12) in Saturday's region final

How Brandon advanced: The Eagles won the District 8 tournament; defeated Land O'Lakes, 68-44, in region quarterfinals

How Ridgewood advanced: The Rams won the District 7 tournament; defeated Wharton, 58-36, in region quarterfinals

About Brandon: The Eagles have won 10 in a row with their last loss Jan. 16 against Wharton. ... Brandon has four starters averaging double figures in scoring, including guard Blake Allen (19.3 ppg, 3.8 apg) and forward Evan Ravenel (14 ppg, 10.8 rpg).

About Ridgewood: The Rams could reach their third region final - their first since 2003 - with a win. ... Ridgewood has won 14 straight with its last loss Dec. 29 against American Heritage in the Tampa Classic. ... The Rams are led 6-8 center Lukas Poderis (17.8 ppg, 9.7 rpg), and guards Mike Lawrence (12.9 ppg, 10 apg) and Alvin Satram (12.7 ppg, 3.3 spg).

Class 4A, Region 2

Pasco (21-7) at Eustis (25-4)

Winner faces: St. Augustine (17-10) or Lecanto (28-0) in Saturday's region final

How Pasco advanced: The Pirates won the District 8 tournament; defeated Groveland South Lake, 60-55, in region quarterfinals

How Eustis advanced: The Panthers won the District 7 tournament; defeated Hudson, 54-48, in region quarterfinals

About Pasco: The Pirates, seeking their first state tournament berth since 1995, have won 11 of their past 12. The Pirates offense has struggled at times recently. In the district semifinals against Nature Coast, the Pirates managed two second-quarter field goals, and they allowed Groveland South Lake to go on a 14-0 second-half run in the region quarterfinals. ... Four of Pasco's top five scorers are seniors.

About Eustis: The Panthers, who have won 13 in a row, are seeking their second state berth in three seasons. ...Eustis features at least three seniors, including 6-5 forward Kenny Dale, who played significant roles on the '06 final four team.