After winning a blind draw against two other schools, Carol City is the top seed in District 13-8A and is among the eight teams set to compete in next week’s GMAC boys’ basketball championships.
Carol City won the draw against the other two teams it tied for first place in the district — American and Hialeah Gardens. Because of the draw, Carol City is the top seed in the district, American is second and the defending state champion Hialeah Gardens is third.
It was the worst possible draw for Hialeah Gardens, which did not make the GMAC field and will now face American in a district semifinal elimination game the following week.
“It’s a bit prehistoric to draw numbers,” Gardens coach Marcos Molina said. “We allowed the fewest points in the district and scored the most. But those are the rules.”
American made the GMAC field as an at-large team by virtue of its two wins against Hialeah Gardens this season. The Patriots have seemingly found the right formula to beating the Gladiators, making last-second shots in both one-point victories.
“They slow the game down and match up well against us,” Molina said. “We give up more offensive rebounds to them than any team, even though they are not particularly big. We also missed 14 layups in one game against them.”
As for the GMAC matchups, two quarterfinals will be played at Norland on Monday: Carol City against Columbus and the host Vikings against Coral Reef.
Two quarterfinals will be played at Miami High on Monday: American against South Miami and the host Stingarees against Booker T. Washington.
The semifinals (Tuesday) and the title game (Thursday) will be played at Miami High.
THE SOCCER JINX
Of the eight teams that made the GMAC boys’ soccer field, only one of them — American — survived the district semifinals.
The rest of the teams, most notably finalists Sunset and Varela, were knocked off.
And something similar happened last week, when South Dade, which won the GMAC girls’ soccer title, got upset in the district semifinals as well.
Sunset’s boys were knocked out by South Dade 3-2 in overtime, even though they had beaten the Bucs 7-1 earlier in the season.
“In a quarter of a century of coaching in this county, I’ve never seen so many upsets,” said Sunset’s Jay Flipse. “The top two seeds in districts 14, 15 and 16 all got knocked out.
“In our game, we had three [would-be] goals that got cleared within a foot of the line. A little bit of wind would have knocked those balls in – but that’s the beauty and the pain of soccer.”