The Ely Tigers have a saying. They want to “Beat the Drum.” They beat the drum hard Thursday night, beating St. Thomas Aquinas like a drum 72-37 in the Region 4-7A quarterfinals at Ely.
The Raiders were the only team to compete with Ely last year in the playoffs. Ely edged Aquinas 56-52 in that game. It was the only battle that Ely had en route to the Class 7A state championship. This one never had a chance.
Ely (23-1) jumped out to a 9-2 lead in the first 1:52 of the game with relentless pressure defense and led by 15 at the end of the first 21-6.
“We want to keep teams as far as possible and not letting them come, just keep beating the drum, beating the drum and never give them hope to come back and beat us,” Ely’s Khalil Thomas said.
It was never close. Ely pushed the lead to 33-9 before St. Thomas (18-6) made its only run. The Raiders scored nine in a row to close it to 33-18, but the Tigers came right back with a 12-0 run and led 45-18 before taking a 47-22 lead into the break.
The Tigers pushed it into running clock in the third following a three-pointer by Richard Lee with 2:20 to play in the quarter. Ely led by as many as 37 points.
Thomas led Ely with 23 points, 12 rebounds, four steals and three blocks.
Lee added 19 points while Lance Tejada found open guys all night with 10 assists.
“We just need to continue to play the way we are playing, stress defense, defense creates offense. We try to make a lot of stops,” Ely coach Melvin Randall said.
Ely will play the Northeast on Tuesday.
STA (18-6): Haney, Jr. 13, Wilkinson 2, N’Diaye 4, London 1, Powell 2, Umude 10, Maturah 1, Hunter 3. ELY (23-1): Lee 19, Allen 5, Thomas 23, Tejada 6, Cameron 12, Labadi 3, Gosier 2, Jackson 2. Half: ELY 47-22. Three-pointers: Lee 2, Cameron 2, Tejada, Haney, Jr., Labadi. Rebounds: Thomas 12. Assists: Tejada 10. Steals: Thomas 4. Blocks: Thomas 3.
• Region 4-5A quarterfinal — American Heritage 75, Jensen Beach 27: American Heritage cleared the bench as the Patriots soundly eliminated outmatched Falcons at American Heritage.
The running clock was underway following a 22-0 third-quarter run that gave Heritage (20-7) a 66-23 lead with one minute left in the third quarter.
Reserve center Luke McCormick completed the spurt with an inside basket; he then opened the fourth quarter with a three-point jumper that produced an eruption in the home gym.
With their size advantage and ball pressure defense (alternating between man-to-man and the 1-2-2 zone), the Patriots were off and running out of the gate, taking a commanding 36-19 halftime lead.
Kobe Eubanks led he Patriots with a game-high 20 points and Josh Borders had 13, including three three-pointers.
Drake LaMont, Heritage’s 6-9 center, scored all his 13 points in the first half. He, along with Eubanks and Bryant Hill had five first-half rebounds apiece as the Patriots outrebounded the Falcons by a 22-11 margin through two quarters.
Jensen Beach, in fact, allowed four second-chance rebounds on the same possession during a sequence midway in the second quarter.
JB: Thompson 8, Alexis 7, Eudman 5, Baker 4, Spugnadi 3. AMH: Eubanks 20, LaMont 13, Borders13, Ju .Massey 9, Ja. Massey 6, McCormick 5, Hill 4, Mullings 4, Johnson 1. Halftime: AMH 36-19. Rebounds: LaMont 9. Assists: Ju. Massey 6. Steals: Ja. Massey 5
• Region 4-6A quarterfinal — Pembroke Pines Charter 80, Northwestern 71: Over the first 16 minutes of game time, the Northwestern Bulls could do no wrong, countering every rally by Pembroke Pines en route to a 40-32 halftime lead. But it was all Jaguars the rest of the way as they defeated the Bulls.
Adam Ali handled the load offensively for the Jaguars, finishing 14-15 while picking up 36 points, primarily in the paint.
The Bulls stunned the Jaguars in the first quarter, rallying to finish the quarter with a 21-14 lead that would grow by halftime.
But the Jaguars defense limited the Bulls to 12 points in the third quarter to take a 54-52 lead.
With 2:21 remaining in the fourth, Leon Manior was fouled while attempting a three-point shot and the Bulls trailing by four. But with a chance to cut the deficit to one, Manior missed his first two shots. Satchell scored the final four points for the Jaguars in the last five seconds of regulation. The Jaguars will take on Norland at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
PP (19-3): Cheatam 10, Satchell 20, Ali 36, Johnson 2, Meade 9, Gardner 3. NW (16-9): Greene 13, Kelly 4, Manior 4, Nottage 28, Curry 2, Griffin 4, Reynolds 14, Bellamy 2. Halftime: NW 40-32. Rebounds: Reynolds, 4. Assists: Nottage 2. Steals: Ali 2.
Region 4-4A quarterfinal — University School 51, Booker T. Washington 48: The Suns (17-7) were able to hang on despite a late comeback by the Tornadoes (19-8) at Nova Southeastern University School. The Suns will play the region 4-4A semifinal at Archbishop Carroll.
Booker T. Washington had the ball with 1.5 seconds to play, down 51-48. The Tornadoes had to take the ball out under the basketball at the other end of the court. The long inbound pass went to guard Devin Holcomb, but he was unable to put up a shot in time. When the game ended the home fans rushed the court to congratulate the Suns.
The first quarter was played close and the Suns only lead 13-11. University school played great defense in the second quarter and only allowed one field goal by Booker T. The Tornadoes also played strong defense and held the Suns to just 6 second quarter points. At halftime, the Suns led 19-15.
The offense picked up in the third quarter as each team traded baskets on almost every possession. As time expired Holcomb banked in a three-pointer to make the score 36-31 going into the fourth quarter with the Suns up.
Early in the fourth quarter the Suns led 40-31, but the Tornadoes quickly narrowed the lead. A three-pointer by Holcomb put Booker T. within two points, 40-38. In the final three minutes each team took multiple free throws. With seven seconds to play the Suns led 50-45. Holcomb sprinted down court and connected on his third three-pointer of the game. Center Maquedius Bain hit one of his two free throws to help ice the game for the Suns with just 1.5 seconds to play.
Jalen Battle led the Suns with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Bain also had a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Holcomb led Booker T. with 18 points.
US: Battle 19, Bain 15, Bollock 8, Hewitt 5, Barton 4. BTW: Holcomb 18, Jackson 13, Spiller 5, Passmore 5, Pitpit 5, Henvil 2. Halftime: US 19-15. Three-Pointers: Holcomb 3, Battle 2, Hewitt, Bollock, Spiller, Pitpit. Rebounds: Jackson 11. Assists: Hewitt 7. Steals: Hewitt 3.
• Region 3-8A quarterfinal — Deerfield Beach 68, Miramar 29: Marcus Owens led the host Bucks with 18 points and 10 rebounds, Terence Johnson added 17 points.
Deerfield Beach dominated Miramar in the paint; outrebound the Patriots 33 to 13 and scored 28 points from the free-throw line.
Miramar stay within single digits for more of the first half but Deerfield Beach rallied at the end of the second quarter to a 40-20 lead into halftime and controlled the second half.
Deerfield Beach advances to play Cypress Bay in Class 8A regional semifinals game.
MIR: Ja. Hill 8, Morency 4, Snow 4, Cajuste 4, Lewis 3, Bouey 2, Forbes 2, Je. Hill 1. DB: Owens 18, Johnson 17, Carpenter 9, Jenkins 9, Williams 6, Huntley 5, Kelly 5. Rebounds: Owens 10. Assists: Morency 5. Steals: Carpenter 3, Jenkins 3. Blocks: Johnson 3
• Region 4-3A quarterfinal — Sagemont 59, Delray American Heritage 25: SAG (23-5): Horne 7, Marshall 5, DeFeria 3, Cooper 5, Jurko 3, Kirby 4, Koulechov 17, Delaruelle 1, Serpa 3, Noel 7, Kande 4. AMH (13-13): Martinson 5, Jackson 8, Bennett 8, Luken 2, Reynolds 2. Rebounds: Horne 8. Assists: Kirby 5. Steals: Koulechov 3