The Miami High boys’ basketball team will get its shot at revenge against Hialeah Gardens, the team that ousted the Stingarees in last year’s playoffs en route to a state championship.
Miami High won its Region 4-8A quarterfinal against Carol City 53-40 on its home floor Thursday night to advance to regional semifinals.
Senior point guard Allen Baez led the Stings (15-8) with 15 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals. He established himself offensively early in the game while some of his younger teammates took time to get their feet wet in the playoff ambiance.
“I’m a senior leader, and I have to set the tone from the start,” said Baez, who led the Stings with 15 points per game in the regular season. “We have a lot of young guys — four or five freshmen on the team — they’re not used to this atmosphere.
“I was glad I was able to come out and set the tone quick.”
His running of the offense and floor leadership was a major cog in countering Carol City’s aggressive pressure defense.
“You don’t [expect] kids like that in high school to lead like that,” Miami High coach Marcus Carreño said. “He expressed that on the court more than ever because we needed his leadership tonight.”
The Stings’ defense shut down Carol City in the second half by deviating from their normal pressure defense and backing off Chief ball handlers to force them into jump shots. Carol City scored only five points in a third quarter that saw the Chiefs fall behind.
Center Wadley Mompremier was critical in winning the battle in the post against 6-10 Carol City center Rashad Thompkins, who transferred to the Chiefs from Miami High after last season.
Mompremier, while scoring seven points and grabbing eight rebounds, held Thompkins scoreless with his defense and by keeping him in foul trouble.
Anthony Concepcion scored 12 points and Julian Gualtieri added 10 for Miami High.
Carol City (20-7) was led by Marquill Smith’s 13 points and four assists and Zackery White’s eight points, nine rebounds and three steals.
Miami High, winners of District 14-8A will face Hialeah Gardens, which won District 13-8A, Tuesday at The Asylum, Miami High’s revamped home floor, at 7 p.m.
MH (15-8): Baez 15, Concepcion 12, Gualtieri 10, Mompremier 7, James 7, Cook 2. CC (20-7): Smith 13, McKennie 7, White 8, Green 5, Williams5, Bell 2. Halftime: MH 25-24. Three-pointers: Gualtieri 2, Concepcion, James, White, Smith, Williams. Rebounds: White 9. Assists: Smith, Baez 4. Steals: White 3.
• Region 4-4A quarterfinal — Archbishop Carroll 72, North Broward Prep 38: The Bulldogs advanced to the regional semifinals on the strength of senior Amida Brimah’s triple-double, which consisted of 20 points, 20 rebounds and 10 blocks.
The Bulldogs will take a 14-game winning streak against Davie University into the next round for the semifinals.
Bulldogs coach Juan Hernandez said, “I’m not surprised by [Thursday’s] victory. This is a veteran squad who has been well all season.”
Archbishop Carroll’s Amida Brimah was the difference-maker with 10 blocks for the game, forcing North Broward Prep into a jump-shooting team.
The Bulldogs’ Brimah, the senior 6-10 center, is orally committed to Connecticut.