April 01, 2008

Tuesday morning roundup

Just a few notes from Broward on this Tuesday...

  • Local baseball powerhouse American Heritage won its opening game Monday at the Gary Carter National Grand Slam tournament up in Palm Beach County, 10-2 against Highlands Christian. Touted slugger Eric Hosmer also apparently won the home-run derby. Check out the bracket here; the Patriots are set to play East Boynton at 4 p.m. Tuesday.
  • On the basketball rankings front: RISE Magazine, MaxPreps.com and USA Today have finalized their 2007-08 boys' basketball top 25s. State 5A champ Dillard stayed at the No. 18 spot in the RISE rankings, but didn't crack the other two lists. In Miami-Dade, USA Today listed Norland as its 24th-best team. As for the Rivals.com top 50, Dillard (No. 21), Norland (No. 38) and Boyd Anderson (No. 41) earned mentions.
  • The first FHSAA district lacrosse tournaments started Monday, and Tuesday competition comes to Broward. The first girls' District 12 semifinal game (at St. Thomas Aquinas) starts at 5 p.m. The boys' District 11 semifinals (at Pine Crest) also begin at 5 p.m. Tuesday.
  • Other baseball tournament action kicked off Monday, with Broward teams playing everywhere from Nova to Tallahassee to Golden Gate. More on that as the tourneys progress, along with softball and other sports.

--Patrick Dorsey

March 28, 2008

Another serving of McDonald's

Courtesy of our friend Manny Navarro on the Canes beat, next year's McDonald's All-American games will be played at BankUnited Center, hosted by coach Frank Haith and the University of Miami.

This is a big deal for the Canes, but could carry extra meaning for at least one local high-school star. Who knows what the selection process will bring, but American Heritage guard Kenny Boynton -- ranked No. 7 by Rivals.com and No. 9 by Scout.com on their Class of 2009 lists -- could be South Florida's first McDonald's All-American this decade.

--Patrick Dorsey

March 27, 2008

Chelsey Lee: 'I will never forget this'

Caught up with Parkway Academy's Chelsey Lee, back in South Florida after spending some time in Milwaukee for the seventh annual girls' McDonald's All-American Game (won by the West on Wednesday).

She already missed it. A lot.

"It was most definitely an experience I will carry with me for the rest of my life," was the first thing she said. "I will never forget this."

When she rattled off all the things she did, all the people she saw, it was easy to see why. Some highlights:

-Meeting the Doctor himself, Julius Erving, the day before Wednesday's game -- and wearing his championship rings. "I almost died right there," Lee said.

-Just being around 23 basketball players of such high caliber -- or, as Lee put it, "just being able to be in a room among people who are destined to be great."

-Being one of those players made Lee an instant (albeit short-lived, for now) star. "All the kids [were] wanting your autograph," Lee said. "You're not yet a celebrity, but everybody knows you're on that road."

-The nervousness Lee and her fellow All-Americans shared before the game, a feeling of "Can you believe all this? For Us?" she said. (How's that for humble?).

-Getting up close with four other Rutgers signees from around the nation, including co-MVPs Brooklyn Pope (Fort Worth, Texas) and Nikki Speed (Pasadena, Calif.), along with Jasmine Dixon (Long Beach, Calif.) and April Sykes (Crawford, Miss.).

And they didn't just share time on the court -- even trying to decide who will room with whom next fall. "I'll probably just take Nikki," Lee said. "Me and Nikki were real cool." Stay tuned on that one.

-With the East down big at halftime -- after beating the West on Tuesday in a closed scrimmage -- Lee and her teammates tried to fire each other up in the locker room. Enter Alonzo Mourning. "When he walked in," Lee recalled, "we forgot everything we just said."

'Zo did end up giving a pep talk to the team. His biggest message: "No matter the outcome," Lee recounted, "you've got to be something special to have made it here."

--Patrick Dorsey

Thursday links, and more

Just a few clicks and tidbits of interest from the Broward high schools scene...

  • Parkway Academy's Chelsey Lee (five points on 1-of-3 shooting) and the East lost 80-64 in last night's McDonald's All-American game in Milwaukee, but her future Rutgers teammates don't look too shabby.
  • StudentSportsSoftball.com (partner of Rivals.com) posted a photo gallery from the Southern California-based Nike Faster to First softball tournament, which Pembroke Pines Charter (still undefeated after last night) won earlier this month. Check photos No. 22, 30 and 33 for the Jaguars' celebration shots. There's also a video, but it's not quite George Lucas-level.
  • No surprise: Pines Charter tops the all-class rankings from Wednesday's first Miracle Sports softball poll (posted here by the Orlando Sentinel). Naturally, the Jaguars also rank as 4A's No. 1. Others showing up in the polls: Flanagan (No. 7, 6A), Cooper City (No. 13, 6A), St. Thomas Aquinas (No. 2, 5A -- also No. 9 in all-class), Archbishop McCarthy (No. 14, 4A), American Heritage (No. 2, 3A), Coral Springs Charter (No. 3, 3A), Westminster Christian (No. 5, 2A) and Hollywood Christian (No. 11, 2A).
  • From the old-school files, apparently Chaminade-Madonna football star-turned-Hurricanes linebacker Glenn Cook has been one of UM's standout players this spring. Even better news for Cook: His spring won't be wasted, as he just received a sixth year of eligibility after sitting out last year with a foot injury.
  • Looking ahead: The BCAA track championships are Saturday at Coral Springs, with the prelims having been completed the last two nights. More from Fabian Lyon in Friday's Herald.

--Patrick Dorsey

March 26, 2008

Did somebody say McDonald's?

ESPNU subscribers out there can catch Parkway Academy's Chelsey Lee in the McDonald's All-American Girls' Basketball game tonight at 7 p.m., televised live from the Bradley Center in Milwaukee.

Lee, a 6-3 center and Rutgers commit who helped Parkway win the 3A title last month, is South Florida's third McDonald's All-American in five years. Dillard's Erica Brown (headed to LSU after two years in junior college) was on the 2005 team and Sylvia Fowles of Edison/Gulliver (an All-American at LSU, looking for another trip to the Final Four) made it the year before.

No South Floridians (or Floridians, even) are in the boys' game, televised on ESPN at 9:30.

--Patrick Dorsey

March 25, 2008

Dillard gets some RISE rankings love

9sThough Florida's state basketball tournaments wrapped up a while ago, many other states just completed theirs (or, in New York's case, haven't quite finished).

The result: An almost-certain top-20 finish for the Dillard boys in RISE Magazine rankings, the latest of which came out Monday.

Dillard sits at No. 18, a little more than three weeks after beating St. Petersburg Lakewood in the 5A title game. The Panthers could even climb, as No. 16 Lincoln (Brooklyn, N.Y.) High plays in a semifinal game Saturday against unranked Bishop Maginn (Albany, N.Y.).

Still, Dillard was shut out by Monday's MaxPreps top-25 rankings and USA Today's most recent Super 25 (also released Monday). Miami's Norland, though, was rated No. 25 by USA Today, and Dillard still has a shot there -- a loss to Lincoln could knock Bishop Maginn from No. 24 and open up a top-25 slot in the final April 1 rankings.

--Patrick Dorsey