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5 posts from February 2007

February 27, 2007

Back to Lakeland

After watching the Norland girls' painful defeat, I now head back to Lakeland to see if a better fate awaits Pace and Northwestern.

Will either team win a state title?

I think with Pace, it's a mental block. They have the team capable of winning it all. The only team up there that they might have a hard time with is Lakeland Kathleen, which has some size inside and skill to match.

With the Spartans, it's a matter of getting past the memories of their painful defeats the past couple of seasons.

Northwestern is going up with a group that's new to playing at state. This team did some traveling this season, playing in a couple of out-of-town tournaments, which coach Sam Watts is hoping will ease "The Oh wow factor" that some teams suffer when they get up there and play in a big arena.

The Bulls can contend with anyone left at state because Class 6A has the most parity of any class this year. Ely with sophomore stud Kenny Boynton is the team to beat in that bracket.

February 21, 2007

NW-Killian -- Instant classic

That Killian-NW game was the first classic of the playoffs.

The game was played at a frenzied pace with both teams running the floor and converting all sorts of acrobatic layups.

I've never heard that gym as loud as when Alex Starling hit the shot to tie it and send it to overtime.

Memo to anyone that didn't already know: Northwestern is very good.

They're the fastest team I've seen among the 6A teams left. But they're going to need a little more consistent defensive performance if they're to have a chance of beating Krop.

How about Pace destroying Titusville and extending its 14-game winning streak.
The team I touted as the best in Dade overall is playing like it at the right time.

Huge win for La Salle against American Heritage. Pine Crest will be tough, but the Royal Lions have a great shot at getting to state for the first time.

Up next on Dre TV: Can Norland's girls finally win it all?

February 09, 2007

District championship picks

I'll get right to it. I'm going to predict tomorrow's boys' basketball district finals.

But seeing this topsy-turvy season, good luck on me getting half of these right. Still, it's fun to try.

13-6A: Krop  over Carol City. Lightning pull out another close one.

14-6A: NW over Miami Springs. Why? Because it will create mega-rematches in the regional quarters between Krop-Springs and NW-Carol City, both of which went to OT earlier this season.

15-6A: South Miami over Coral Park.

16-6A: Killian over Coral Reef.

16-4A: Pace over Belen

15-3A: La Salle over Chaminade

16-3A: Ransom over Gulliver

15-2A: Miami Christian over Dade Christian

16-2A: Palmer over Westminster

16-1A: Calusa over Horeb/Northwest Christian, either one.

Step right up and call the games, step right up and try to beat Dre's score.

new state hoops polls...no one is safe

With Norland ousted by Carol City and seeing how Krop survived by 1 point.

I've come to the conclusion that no one is safe in Class 6A boys' basketball in Dade.

On the girls' side, more and more I'm beginning to think Norland my get over the hump finally this year and its due to balance. Guard play is so important in the girls' game and the Vikings have two in Lyrell Barfield and Cleniece Roberts. With Vontrice Dennis' athleticism, this triple threat should get the Vikes to the Lakeland Center and a different color medal this time.

Here are the new state polls:

Boys as of this past Monday (pre Carol City-Norland)

CLASS 6A
1. Krop (23-3) (9) 106
2. Norland (22-3) (1) 87
3. Palm Beach Gardens (23-2) 73
4. Pompano Beach Ely (17-5) 59
5. Lakeland (24-1) (1) 55
6. Killian (22-2) 53
7. Altamonte Springs Lake Brantley (20-4) 39
8. Miami Springs (19-7) 33
9. Orlando Edgewater (21-4) 26
10. Lauderdale Lakes Boyd Anderson (20-4) 24
Also receiving votes: Orlando Dr. Phillips (18-6) 21, Northwestern (18-6) 14, Lantana Santaluces (14-7) 11, Orange Park (21-4) 3, Winter Park (21-4) 1.

CLASS 5A
1. Winter Park Lake Howell (22-3) (11) 110
2. St. Petersburg Lakewood (22-2) 97
3. Gainesville Eastside (20-5) 79
4. Fort Lauderdale Dillard (22-3) 76
5. Tampa Wharton (24-1) 53
6. Lake City Columbia (20-5) 43
7. Jacksonville Wolfson (21-4) 42
8. Tampa Plant (21-1) 36
9. Jacksonville First Coast (18-5) 22
10. Fort Myers (20-5) 21
Also receiving votes: Gainesville (19-6) 13, Clearwater (22-3) 10, Winter Haven (21-4) 3.

CLASS 4A
1. Cocoa (23-2) (8) 107
2. Lake Wales (22-1) (2) 90
3. Lakeland Kathleen (20-3) 87
4. Miami Monsignor Pace (20-5) (1) 85
5. Jensen Beach (21-1) 58
(tie) Havana East Gadsden (20-3) 58
7. Milton (22-3) 37
8. Port Orange Atlantic (21-4) 31
9. Fort Lauderdale Cardinal Gibbons (19-5) 22
10. Pensacola Washington (19-5) 13
Also receiving votes: Jacksonville Jackson (18-7) 10, Arcadia DeSoto County (18-6) 6, Eustis (18-7) 3, Ocala West Port (18-4) 2.

CLASS 3A
1. Gainesville P.K. Yonge (21-3) (10) 109
2. Ocala Trinity Catholic (23-2) (1) 94
3. Melbourne Florida Air Academy (20-3) 87
4. Boca Raton St. Andrew's (22-3) 75
5. Pahokee (17-2) 63
6. Fort Myers Bishop Verot (20-5) 54
7. Jacksonville Ribault (15-8) 39
8. Mount Dora (16-9) 38
9. Miami La Salle (16-7) 18
10. St. Petersburg Catholic (16-6) 10
Also receiving votes: Fort Lauderdale Pine Crest (18-6) 6, Chipley (14-7) 4, Tampa Berkeley Prep (19-6) 4, Orlando Jones (14-10) 2, Jacksonville Episcopal (16-5) 1, Williston (17-8) 1.

CLASS 2A
1. Jacksonville Arlington Country Day (18-6) (10) 108
2. West Palm Beach Summit Christian (22-2) (1) 99
3. North Palm Beach Benjamin (18-6) 80
4. Tallahasse Maclay (21-3) 78
5. Jacksonville Providence (18-7) 67
6. Tampa Prep (19-5) 51
7. Daytona Beach Father Lopez (19-6) 43
8. Community School of Naples (20-4) 28
9. Sneads (15-9) 24
10. Orlando First Academy (14-11) 8
Also receiving votes: Greensboro West Gadsden (14-9) 6, Lakeland Christian (18-6) 5, Pompano Beach Highland Christian (18-7) 4, Altha (14-6) 4.

CLASS 1A
1. Lake Mary Prep (23-1) (10) 108
2. Weston Sagemont (23-1) (1) 100
3. Tallahassee John Paul II Catholic (23-2) 84
4. Gainesville The Rock (18-7) 68
5. Orlando Pine Castle Christian (17-6) 60
6. Orlando Christian Prep (20-3) 54
7. Seffner Christian (22-2) 42
8. Clearwater Calvary Christian (23-2) 30
(tie) Miami Calusa Prep (19-4) 30
10. Allentown Central (22-3) 15
Also receiving votes: Laurel Hill (19-6) 13, Boca Raton Grandview Prep (20-5) 1.

AND THE GIRLS AS OF WEDNESDAY

Class 6A
1. Miami Norland (25-2) 70 (7)
2. Orlando Boone (25-3) 63
3. Melbourne Palm Bay Bay (25-1) 54
4. Gainesville Buchholz (25-2) 49
5. New Port Richey Mitchell (24-2) 40
6. Pembroke Pines Flanagan (23-3) 33
7. Port Orange Spruce Creek (21-4) 21
8. Parkland Stoneman Douglas (20-6) 13
9. Sarasota (24-4) 14
10. Sarasota Riverview (21-3) 9
Also receiving votes: Lourdes (24-3) 8, Orlando Edgewater (19-7) 4, Lake Mary (15-8) 2

Class 5A
1. Winter Haven (22-3) 70 (7)
2. Naples Barron Collier (26-3) 63
3. Leesburg (25-2) 56
4. Sebastian River (25-2) 44
5. Davie Nova (24-4) 42
6. Wesley Chapel (22-4) 28
7. Fort Lauderdale Dillard (22-6) 26
8. Miami Jackson (20-5) 12
9. New Smyrna Beach (21-4) 9
10. Gainesville Eastside (18-10) 6
Also receiving votes: Clearwater (25-2) 5, Tampa Blake (21-3) 4, Jacksonville Wolfson (20-7) 3, Jacksonville Lee (19-8) 1

Class 4A
1. Pensacola Washington (28-0) 70
2. Jensen Beach (22-4) 63
3. Orlando Bishop Moore (24-2) 56
4. Pensacola High (20-5) 48
5. Jacksonville Jackson (20-5) 44
6. Jacksonville Bishop Kenny (23-3) 27
tie. St. Augustine (23-3) 27
8. Starke Bradford (21-1) 17
9. Riveria Beach Suncoast (22-4) 12
10. Monsignor Pace (15-10) 9
Also receiving votes: Ocala West Port (20-6) 7, Sebring (22-0) 1, Rockledge (18-5) 4

Class 3A
1. Gainesville P.K. Yonge (23-3) 69 (6)
2. Jacksonville Ribault (23-1) 64 (1)
3. Tallahassee Florida High (22-5) 48
4. Plantation American Heritage (21-3) 37
5. St. Petersburg Catholic (19-3) 35
6. Melbourne Central Catholic (22-5) 34
7. Miramar Parkway Academy (21-5) 28
8. West Palm Beach Cardinal Newman (21-4) 15
9. Wildwood (20-4) 8
10. Pensacola Catholic (18-8) 7
Also receiving votes: Tampa Academy of the Holy Names (24-3) 3, Trinity Catholic (20-8) 3, Crescent City (13-4) 2, Fort Lauderdale Pine Crest (15-6) 2, Lake Highland Prep (21-6) 1

Class 2A
1. Orlando First Academy (24-3) 70 (7)
2. Tallahassee North Florida Christian (22-4) 63
3. Mayo Lafayette (20-4) 56
4. Jacksonville University Christian (23-4) 49
5. Dade Christian (21-3) 40
6. West Palm Beach Summit Christian (24-2) 29
7. Tallahassee Maclay (21-5) 25
8. Daytona Beach Father Lopez (22-3) 23
9. St. Augustine St. Joseph's (23-4) 17
10. Hawthorne (19-8) 10
Also receiving votes: Lakeland Christian (21-6) 2, Coral Springs (21-3) 1

Class 1A
1. Paxton (22-3) 58
2. Miami Northwest Christian (22-5) 47
3. Sarasota Christian (20-2) 44
4. Gainesville The Rock (19-3) 43
5. Ocala St. John Lutheran (18-6) 32
6. Tallahassee FAMU High (18-6) 27
7. Merritt Island Christian (17-2) 26
8. Brevard Christian (18-5) 23
9. Graceville (15-6) 13
10. Aucilla Christian (16-9) 7

February 03, 2007

major shakeups

A few things to talk about.

But before we get to business, I want to thank my good friend and the Herald's Mr. Multimedia Manny Navarro for letting me accompany him and film some of the hotspots we visited on South Beach Friday.
While I helped him film for his SuperBowl video blog, I met two of my favorite female celebrities today - Gabrielle Union and Leanne Tweeden.

Let me just Leanne is my favorite "Best Damn Celebrity."

And Gabrielle Union is even more beautiful in person, and what a down to earth person too. She and Manny had a great conversation. She also threw a friendly jab at me for wearing a USC cap. As she told me "She's a Bruin." What a day! But I digress.

On to prep business.

Expect major shakeups in this week's boys' basketball polls after Miami Springs nearly shook up the entire county. It took a spectacular game and 3-point shot from Javi Gonzalez for Krop to win the GMAC title.

But the Golden Hawks are definitely THE most dangerous team in Dade, and a contender in this year's playoffs after beating Norland and Killian.

Krop may move into the new No. 1 spot in next week's Class 6A poll, but stay tuned. Too bad Wednesday will have two of the best district playoffs in Dade running up against National Signing Day.

13-6A: Krop-American, Norland-Carol City

14-6A: Miami High-Miami Springs, Northwestern-HML.

If I'm not exhausted by 5 pm after my 6 am wakeup and tour of Dade County for signing day, I'll have to check out one of those.

on to the ladies' hoops.

Hialeah had a huge week in girls' hoops, eliminating off Northwestern and knocking off Miami High for the District 14-6A title. That means a GMAC Silver final rematch with Goleman in the first round Thursday, while we have a rematch of last year's Norland-Miami High first rounder.

And this past Thursday I got to watch three great boys soccer games back-to-back. Starting with Doral knocking off Gulliver and ending with the best match I've watched all year as varela rallied to beat Coral Park.

Congrats to Lourdes, which clinched a 2nd straight trip to state. And good luck against Eau Gallie. They're probably not as good as the monster Douglas squad Lourdes ran into last year, but it will be hard to change Dade's woes at state.

Here are my picks for the next round of boys' soccer: I'm predicting a Doral victory Tuesday over Chaminade and then they get mighty American Heritage, who'll get by Florida Christian.

The 6A regional final will be a rematch of the GMAC semi between Gables and Varela. And in 2A, expect Palmer to advance to play the other American Heritage from Delray.

Well, I'm off to find another Super Bowl activity somewhere, somehow, sometime.

And as for that one, I'm picking the guys with the horseshoe logos.