For the past two months, South Miami has been the most consistent boys’ basketball team in Miami-Dade County.
In three games at this week’s GMAC tournament, the Cobras have looked like the most complete team.
South Miami once again used its combination of size, skill and accurate shooting to dominate another of the county’s best Thursday night as it routed Carol City 72-56 to secure the GMAC championship at the Miami High gym.
The county crown was the Cobras’ first since 1999.
South Miami (22-3) won its 12th consecutive game and 20th in its past 21 games.
All South Miami coach Robert Doctor wants is for his players to maintain that level of focus for another four weeks on the potential road to state.
“We’ve been keeping them focused every day and every day practices have been hard,” Doctor said. “Winning this tournament is great. I remember 1996 as a player we won it, and it was a great feeling. I wanted to see these guys to experience that.”
Antravious Simmons, the Cobras’ senior 6-9 center and Virginia Commonwealth commitment, finished with 10 points, 14 rebounds, five assists, two blocks and two steals. For the tournament, Simmons finished with 37 points and 36 rebounds.
But the Cobras’ backcourt play paced them from the start and allowed them to lead Carol City (20-5) wire to wire.
South Miami built a lead as large as 25 points in the fourth quarter as 6-1 senior point guard Jorge Perez-Laham conducted the offense with nine assists and 15 points. For the tournament, Perez-Laham finished with 42 points and 23 assists.
“Jorge sets us up a lot, and he’s stepped it up scoring-wise,” Doctor said.
Carol City’s Marquill Smith kept the Chiefs in it at times, scoring 23 points including four three-pointers.
But the Cobras quick transition scoring was too much.
South Miami senior 6-4 guard John Cratit finished with a game-high 22 points and had four assists and three steals. Senior 6-4 forward Ketrick Bartley finished with 12 points and eight rebounds.
Perez-Laham has offers from Barry and Lynn Universities, according to Doctor, and Cratit is being recruited by Palm Beach Atlantic.
CC (20-5): White 4, Smith 23, McKennie 12, Thompkins 14, Bell 2. SM (22-3): Perez-Laham 15, Bartley 12, Blanco 6, Cratit 22, Simmons 10, Lopez 8, Barney 1. Half: SM 40-25. Fouled out: McKennie. Technical: CC delay of game. Three-pointers: Perez-Laham 2, Blanco 2, Cratit, Smith 4. Rebounds: Simmons 14. Assists: Perez-Laham 9. Steals: Cratit 3.
• District 14-3A finals: For the third consecutive year, but first under new coach James Pierre, the North Miami Beach wrestling team won the District 14-3A finals.
With a team score of 208 at Ronald Reagan High, the Chargers nearly doubled the score of runner-up North Miami (106). Nine NMB wrestlers won their individual championship finals to place first in their weight class, and two others had second-place finishes.
“We’ve been putting in work all summer long,” Pierre said. “Hard work pays off, like I tell them since day one, and I’m glad they did it. We’re making some noise right now.”
Pierre worked as an assistant under cousin John Severe for the Chargers’ previous two district titles. Now Severe coaches his alma mater, North Miami, and, although his team may not be prepared to make the leap just yet, he’s trying to make it a two-horse race in the district between the Pioneers and the Chargers.