By BOB PUTNAM
© St. Petersburg Times,
published November 1, 2001
All matches take place Saturday
WHERE: East Lake
SCHEDULE: Fort Myers (25-3) vs. Countryside (23-7), 2 p.m.; Punta Gorda Charlotte (22-9) vs. East Lake (27-4), 4; Championship, 7.
OUTLOOK: The Cougars, a final four participant last season, must stay on the road for the playoffs after losing the district final to East Lake. To get another shot at the Eagles, Countryside, ranked No. 10 in 5A, has to get past No. 3 Fort Myers. In the other semifinal, sixth-ranked East Lake plays Charlotte. The Eagles haven't lost since the Berkeley Premier tournament a month ago.
SCHEDULE: Dunedin (13-10) vs. Lakeland George Jenkins (23-8), 2 p.m.; Lakewood (23-5) vs. Plant (22-5), 4; Championship, 7.
OUTLOOK: The Falcons are making the most of their first playoff appearance since 1990, beating Barron Collier, a regional finalist last season, to advance. Dunedin now faces George Jenkins, another team on a roll. The Eagles, ranked No. 10, have beaten two ranked teams in their past three matches. Lakewood, which has made the playoffs for 11 consecutive seasons, is trying to reach the final four for the first time since 1994. The first obstacle for the Spartans is Plant, ranked No. 5.
WHERE: Lakeland Christian
SCHEDULE: Bayshore Christian (22-6) vs. Fort Myers Canterbury (26-5), 2 p.m.; Keswick Christian (26-6) vs. Lakeland Christian (23-2), 4; Championship, 7.
OUTLOOK: Keswick Christian is going after its third final four appearance in the past four seasons. The Crusaders have made a habit of rallying and are confident with victories against Shorecrest, Sarasota Out-of-Door Academy and Naples St. John Neumann in their past three matches. If Keswick gets past Lakeland Christian, it could face defending state champion Fort Myers Canterbury in the final.