Dillard never stopped fighting, but Cardinal Gibbons’ early lead proved to be too much to overcome for the Panthers as the Chiefs knocked off Dillard 58-43 in the quarterfinals of the BCAA Big 8 boys’ basketball tournament at Fort Lauderdale on Thursday night.
Gibbons will play Deerfield Beach in the second semifinal game Friday.
The Chiefs’ speed and size overwhelmed Dillard in the first quarter as they built an 18-6 lead at the end of the first. The Chiefs led 31-17 at halftime, although it could have been a much larger lead if not for a number of blown opportunities.
The third quarter was a different story. The Panthers jumped all over Gibbons as the Chiefs became increasingly impatient hoisting a number of bad three-point shots, missing layups and turning the ball over multiple times.
Dillard rolled to a 12-0 run to cut the lead to 31-29 with three minutes to play in the quarter and had a chance to tie the score on an easy layup attempt by Romello Walker, but he missed the easy shot for the tie and Cedric Wright was called for offensive goaltending on the put-back. A put-back by Richard McIntosh ended the run with 2:20 to play and the Chiefs got back to what they were doing in the first half.
A trio of three-pointers by Jack Simmons, who led all scorers with 15 points, gave Gibbons control again. He hit a three to give Gibbons a 36-29 lead, then swished another three at the buzzer from the corner while fading out of bounds for a 41-34 lead going into the fourth.
Another three by Simmons pushed the Chiefs’ lead back to double digits at 47-36 with 5:42 to play. Dillard cut it back to four, but Reggie Goosby’s dunk with under two minutes to play pushed the lead back to 52-43.
Trandon Smith led Dillard with 14 points. Melvin Brooks added 10 points and 16 rebounds for Gibbons.
DIL (12-9): Walker 7, Wright 10, Heastie 4, Dixon 2, Pendergraph 2, Smith 14, Grace 4. CG (19-2): Andino 4, Morales 13, Simmons 15, McIntosh 8, Brooks 10, Goosby 6, Charles 2. Halftime: Gibbons 31-17. Three-pointers: Simmons 4, Grace, Morales. Rebounds: Brooks 16. Assists: Morales 6. Steals: Wright 2, Goosby 2. Blocks: Wright 2, Goosby 2.
• BCAA Big 8 quarterfinal — Blanche Ely 75, Western 43: Ely continued to apply pressure to Western on Thursday night at Fort Lauderdale.
Trailing 4-3 early, the Tigers (18-1) went on a 16-0 run behind a handful of steals, layups and put-backs for a 19-4 lead late in the first quarter.
Khalil Thomas led the way for the Tigers by constantly crashing the boards and dominating in the paint.
Thomas scored 10 of his 22 points in the first quarter. He also had eight rebounds by halftime and finished the game with 15 rebounds and two blocks.
Darrion Allen set up most of Ely’s attack, playing a key role in his team’s pressure defense coming up with five steals in the first half. The Tigers had 10 steals by the break. Lance Tejada had 15 points, including 13 in the second half.
ELY (18-1): Gosier 3, Thomas 22, Tejada 15, Cameron 12, Allen 11, Lee 12. WES (15-7): Lewis 2, Katz 12, Hessney 2, Lamour 4, Nunez 8, Royes 12, Artaza 3. Halftime: ELY 41-21. Three-pointers: Lee 4, Tejada 2, Cameron 2, Allen, Artaza, Nunez. Rebounds: Thomas 15. Assists: Cameron 3. Steals: Allen 6. Blocks: Thomas 2.
Local teams came up short of gold medals during the opening day of the state competitive cheerleading competition at Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee.