Coral Gables beats the clock, N. Miami Beach in football


State volleyball

What: The FHSAA state volleyball finals.

When: Through Saturday.

Where: Silver Spurs Arena, 1875 Silver Spur Lane, Kissimmee.

Admission: $9 per session; Parking: $5 (cars); $10 buses.

Defending state champs – Class 8A: Tarpon Springs East Lake; 7A: Stuart Martin County; 6A: Tallahassee Leon; 5A: Merritt Island; 4A: Tampa Berkeley Prep; 3A: Orlando First Academy; 2A: Boynton Beach Lake Worth Christian; 1A: Mayo Lafayette.

Thursday’s games – Class 1A semifinals: Liberty County d. Taylor, 27-25, 25-19, 25-17, 25-20; Lafayette d. Baker, 25-17, 29-27, 25-21; Class 2A semifinals: Lake Worth Christian vs. Tallahassee John Paul II, inc.; Sheridan Hills Christian vs. Winter Garden Foundation Academy, inc.; Class 5A final: Jensen Beach vs. Merritt Island, inc.

Friday’s games – Class 3A semifinals: Gainesville St. Francis vs. Clearwater Central Catholic, 10 a.m.; Orlando First Academy vs. Westminster Christian, noon; Class 4A semifinals: Tampa Berkeley Prep vs. Jacksonville Episcopal, 2; Ransom Everglades vs. Orlando Bishop Moore, 4; Class 1A final: Liberty County vs. Lafayette, 6; Class 2A final: 8.

Saturday’s games – Class 3A final: noon; Class 4A final: 2.

Special to The Miami Herald

After rallying from a 14-point fourth-quarter deficit, Coral Gables looked content with running the remaining 36 seconds off the clock and going to overtime with North Miami Beach.

Junior running back Gregory Howell had other plans. Howell took a handoff inside the right tackle 65 yards for a touchdown, outrunning four Chargers defenders to cap Coral Gables’ 20-point fourth quarter and give the Cavaliers a 20-14 victory in the Region 4-8A quarterfinals Thursday at North Miami Stadium.

The Cavaliers (4-7) will face district rival Columbus (7-4) next Friday in the Region 4-8A semifinals. Coral Gables lost to Columbus 41-0 nearly a month ago.

Howell, who said he battled flulike symptoms during the school day, said when he took the handoff he saw “green.”

“Coach had to give the ball to his money man,” Howell said. “When I got the ball I saw some space, and when I got to the second level, I just turned on the jets. I know I’m big but I have some gas in my tank, I can get away from people.

“All day my head was clogged up, my nose was running, my energy was down,” the 6-1, 215-pound Powell said. “It was like the Michael Jordan game when he played sick against Utah [in game five of the 1997 NBA Finals].”

Coral Gables started the rally with a 17-yard touchdown run by quarterback Dijon Smith. Trailing 14-6 after a missed extra point, the Cavaliers scored again with just under three minutes to play when Smith found Antiwone Johnson 16 yards in the end zone.

Howell caught a short pass from Smith for the two-point conversion to tie the score at 14 with 2:56 left to play.

North Miami Beach, which was making a playoff appearance just a year after going 0-10, built a 14-0 lead that would stand until halfway through the fourth quarter. Running back Freddy Leroy rushed for 98 yards on 18 carries in the first half and put the Chargers (4-6) ahead 14-0 with just 31 seconds left in the first quarter on 3-yard touchdown plunge.

Leroy finished with a game-high 166 yards on 31 carries and Howell finished with 107 yards on 14 carries with the game-winning touchdown.

Coral Gables’ defense stiffened in the second half, holding North Miami Beach to 113 total yards in the second half along with sacking NMB’s sophomore quarterback Cedrick Wiggins three times and forcing a fumble.

Coral Gables coach Roger Pollard said his team was familiar with being down late.

“We faced an eerily similar situation last week,” Powell said, speaking of their regular-season finale game where his team rallied to force overtime before losing to Southwest. “The guys knew that we were OK in the situation because of it. Everyone kept playing and stayed in the game, then Greg Howell made a big play.

“He’s our No. 1 guy, and he came through for us like he has all season,” Pollard said.

Thomas selected

Like his Booker T. Washington teammates, linebacker Matthew Thomas is on a mission to win an elusive state title this season.

On Thursday though, Thomas took a moment to celebrate a prestigious honor with his school.

Thomas, rated the No. 8 overall prospect in the nation by ESPN and top outside linebacker, was officially invited to the Under Armour All-America All-Star game. Thomas is one of two Miami-Dade County football stars that have so far been added to the roster for the game that will be played Jan. 4 at Tropicana Field in Tampa.

Thomas will be joined by Northwestern defensive back Artie Burns, who will also be selected at a ceremony at his school Friday morning.

“A lot of great players came to this event and showed off what they can do,” Thomas said. “I can’t wait to compete and have fun in this.”

Thomas has 53 tackles, seven sacks and two interceptions so far this season for the Tornadoes (9-1), who play North Broward Prep in a Region 4-4A semifinal Friday night at Curtis Park. Booker T. Washington lost in the state final in Orlando last season against Jacksonville Bolles.

Thomas, who still mentions FSU, Miami and Alabama among his favorites, said he is focusing on the pursuit of a state championship.

“We’re real confident going into the playoffs,” Thomas said. “When the time comes, we’ll be ready.”



Mater Academy had three of its top baseball standouts sign with Division I colleges. Outfielder Willie Abreu signed with the University of Miami, third baseman J.C. Escarra signed with FIU and catcher Kevin Abraham signed with Florida Atlantic.

The Hurricanes also signed Westminster Christian shortstop John Ruiz, a first team All-Dade selection.

Coral Reef had two of its boys’ basketball standouts sign. Cedric Hankerson signed with Boston University. B.J. Glassford signed with Stetson University.

Krop tennis star Cassie Pough signed with Louisville, giving the Lightning 10 consecutive seasons with at least one Division I signee in the sport.

Pough is rated ninth in Florida and 53rd in the nation among girls 18-under and has led Krop to a pair of state titles.

Goleman softball star second baseman/center fielder Melissa Costero signed with Warner University. Costero is on track to graduate in the top five percent of her class.


•  Florida Christian 3, Pace 2: Jessica Barcelo, Ashley Morales, and Natalia Baxieras had one goal each. FC 2-2-1.

•  Hialeah-Miami Lakes 1, Westland 0: Selina Carriel goal. Bianca Pereyra shutout. HML 2-4.

•  Homestead 0 Miami Springs 8.

•  Palmetto 6, Killian 1: Sophia Paz 2 goals. Taryn Denkert goal, assist. Alexandra Perez goal, assist. Stephanie Galindo (KIL) goal. PAL 4-0.

•  Miami Springs 8, Homestead 0:Alessandra Salazar 3 goals. Sofia De la Puenta goal, assist. Debbie Yance 2 assists.

•  Coral Park 4, Braddock 1: Maria Vega 3 goals, assists. Nina Torres 1 assists. CP 1-3-1.

•  South Dade 1, Coral Reef 0: Isamar Duran goal. McKenzie VanHeusen assist. Brittany Hoskins shutout. SD 5-0-1.

•  Varela 8, Southridge 0: Emily Ochoa 3 goals. Jessica Caicedo 1 goal. Chelsea Schwartman 1 goal.

•  South Miami 3, Sunset 2: Giselle Schreiber (SM) 3 goals. Ana Aroix (SM) 2 assists. Madison Askew (SM) 1 assist. SM 4-2.

•  University School 4, Mater Academy 0: Valerie O’Toole 2 goals. Jazlyn Scott goal, assist. Gillian Newman fifth shutout. US 4-2-3.

•  Archbishop McCarthy 8, Mourning 0: Colleen Becker 2 goals. Stephanie Moreno 2 goals. Abby Ribas 2 goals. AM 5-2.

•  Late Wednesday – Doral Academy 2, LaSalle 2: Alissa Bello 1 Goal, 1 Assist; Alex Montero 1 Goal; Camila Ardila 1 Assist DOR 2-2-2.

•  Late Wednesday – Southwest 7, Homestead 1


•  Miami Country Day 1, Westminster Christian 1: Rafi Kassin goal. Edurado Macedo assist. Joe Alamo (WC) goal. MCDS 4-0-1, WC 1-0-1.


Florida Christian 47, Carrollton 25 – FCS: Jimenez 8, Sicre 17, Donato 9, Martinez 6, Prinz 7, Wright 9, L. Jim 6, K. Jim 3, CSSH: Urquidi 4, Haubold 1, Ramos 1, McDonnell 2. Halftime: FC 17-3. Three-pointers: Donato 1, Rebounds: K. Jim 6. Assists: Jimenez 5. Steals: Martinez 6.

•  Ransom Everglades 54, St. Brendan 32 – Ran: Crotty 4, Lopez 6, Smith 6, Oppenheim 15, Schatz 4, Deutch 13, McDowell 2, Sheppard 4. StB: Martinez 2, Rodriguez 5, Vargas 5, Gonzalez 2, Bolanos 2, Falla 16. Halftime: RAN 34-17. Three Pointers: Falla 3, Deutch 2, Rodriguez 1. Rebounds: Brandy Smith 7. Steals: Jennifer Deutch 4, Sari Oppenheim 4. Leading Assists- Jennifer Deutch- 3

•  Doral Academy 49, Booker T. 15 – DOR: Machado 23, M. Neres 13, Llamo 5, Gomez 4, Grafals 2, Neres 2. BTW: A. Baca 4, Berry 4, Hudson 4, Haugabook 2, Baca 1. Three-pointers: Machado 6 (DOR).

•  Miami Country Day 47, Palm Beach Central 26 – PBC: Sherrod 2, Gray 2, Smith 10, Brown 2, Primm 8, Dupurot 2. MCD: Mackenzie 9, Swaby 10, Lewis 9, Minott 11, Blot 6, Kotalik 2 . Three-pointers: Mackenzie 1, Lewis 1, Smith 2. Rebounds: Minott 14. Assists: Lewis 8. Steals: Mackenzie 7.

Hialeah 55 Hialeah Gardens 14 – HIA: Hall 16, A. Charles 11, McCallam 6, Dormer 6, Prado 5, Durmorne 3, S. Charles 2, Ruff 2. HG: Herba 8, Rodriguez 2, Hernandez 2, Dieguez 2. Three-pointers: Herba 2, Hall 2, A. Charles 1, Prado 1. Rebounds: McCallam 9. Assist: Casanova 5. Steals: Ruff 6.

•  Gulliver Prep 59, Marathon 18 – Gul: J. Pagliery 16, M. Pyatt 13, J. Westbrooks 12, C. Nixon 10, J. Pyatt 6, C. Wirshing 3, E. Gomez 2. Rebounds: M. Pyatt 10. Assists: C. Wirshing 8. Steals: J. Westbrooks 6.

•  Palmer Trinity 59, North Miami 21 – PT (2-0): Gonzalez 2, Arriaga 2, James 13, Smith 5, I. Baiamonte 2, Forristall 3, Hebb 6, Granada 16, Parten 2, Pino 3, Waldman 2. NM (0-1): Kenya 2, Ashley 2, Felicia 6, Bridget 5, Gabriella 2, Dinia 4. Halftime : 32-13 PT. Three pointers: James 2, Smith 1, Pino 1, Forristall 1. Rebounds: James, Arriaga 7. Assists: Granada, James 3. Steals: Smith 6.

•  Hebrew 45, Posnack 23 – HEB (2-0): Gordon 16, Weiss 3, Dobin 17, Moyal 7, Kahn 2. Pos (0-2): Sumkin 4, Dobrow 8, Werneck 4, Bak 3, Dazon 4. Rebounds: Dobin 15. Steals: Gordon 7. Assists. Gordon 5.

•  Late Wednesday – Braddock 46, Ferguson 40 – FER: Susan T. 11, Sam G. 7, Briana M. 3, Alondra R. 6, Shanice H. 8, Kamaria J. 5. Bra: Benedit 9, Martinez 10, Osceola 19, Gomez 2, Bermudez 4, Sanchez 2. Three-pointers: Benedit 1, Sam G. , Shanice H. 2. Assist: Osceola 4. Steals: Benedit 4. Rebounds: Martiniez 22.

•  Late Wednesday – Greater Miami 47, Doral Academy 46 – GMA: Diaz 18, Ebanks 12, J. Hernandez 9, Hernandez 6, Duany 1, Butler 1. DOR: Machado 22, M. Neres 7, Molina 5, Lamo 4, Grafals 4, Gomez 2, Neres 2. 3 Pointers: Machado 5 (DOR), J. Hernadez 2 (GMA).


•  Preseason – Booker T. 59, Miami High 55: Spiller (BTW) 21, Henvill (BTW)13, Mompremier (MIA) 19.

•  Preseason – Hialeah Grardens 60, Killian 17: Gonzalez 18, Frye 12, Vasquez 7.

•  Preseason – Sunset 54, Homestead 46: Leon 6, Garcia 9, Padilla 9.

•  Preseason – Doral 62, Curley 31: A Fernandez 13, M Garcia 12, E Mendia 9, I Reese 9.

•  Preseason – Archbishop Carroll 70, Miami Christian 37: Brimah 18, Leon 14, Cohen 10.

•  Preseason – TERRA 62, Pine Crest 28: Erik Fernandez (PC) 10.

•  Preseason – Palmer Trinity School 60, Archimedean 39: DaGrosa 22, Dorsy 19, Becker 10.


•  Coral Reef 60, Miami High 15: 126: Juan Fagundo pin 4:52. 120: Abbott Lopez pin 2:29. 138: Ramon Vega pin 3:18.

Read more Miami-Dade High Schools stories from the Miami Herald

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