• Region 4-8A semifinal — South Miami 65, Palmetto 58: South Miami’s Jorge Perez-Laham scored 31 points, had four assists, three steals and one pivotal block to lead his team to a victory over host Palmetto.
The Cobras, who also won the GMAC title this season, advanced to regional quarterfinals where they will face defending Class 8A state champion Hialeah Gardens at South Miami on Saturday.
Perez-Laham found most of his scoring opportunities off the ball in the first half, but in the second the ball was in his hands every possession. South Miami coach Robert Doctor said “everything” was working for him.
“He was getting in the lane shooting that floater; he was knocking down the open shot; he was getting other people the ball,” Doctor said. “That’s the best point guard in Dade County.”
While scoring at will offensively, it was Perez-Laham’s defense that sealed the win. With the Cobras up six with 50 seconds left, he blocked a three-point attempt by Palmetto’s Frankie Pubchara that led to a fast-break layup plus a foul that put the game away.
“Those are the big plays that you have to make to win,” Perez-Laham said in Spanish. “You have to be prepared for those types of plays and push forward.”
South Miami 6-9 center and VCU recruit Antravious Simmons had 16 points and 10 rebounds to go with four assists and four blocks. Perez-Laham said that scoring was easier for him because Palmetto double-teamed Simmons defensively.
For the Panthers (18-8), Daniel Coffey scored a team-high 19 points. Trent Wasser had 13 and Kory Schulz added 11.
Palmetto’s season ended Tuesday, but not before an inspirational run that saw the Panthers win the District 16-8A final over Coral Reef after dropping their three previous meetings and getting past Columbus in regional quarterfinals.
Palmetto played South Miami without injured Joan Povea, the team’s second-leading scorer, and coach Rick Landera, who missed the game and practices leading up to it taking care of an illness to a family member. Assistant coach and junior varsity head coach Chris Creane took over for Landera Tuesday.
SM (26-3): Perez-Laham 31, Simmons 16, Lopez 12, Blanco 3, Cratit 3. PAL (18-8): Coffey 19, Wasser 13, Parlic 7, Schulz 11, De la Cruz 2, Mullet 3, Koss 3. Halftime: PAL 27-26. Three-pointers: Koss, Wasser, Mullet, Coffey, Schulz, Perez-Laham 2, Cratit, Blanco. Rebounds: Simmons 10. Assists: Simmons, Lopez, Cratit, Perez-Laham 4. Steals: Perez-Laham 3. Blocks: Simmons 4.
• Region 4-4A semifinal — Ransom Everglades 74, Gulliver Prep 55: Having one dynamic player can, a lot of times, be the difference between a win and a loss.
Ransom Everglades has one of the most dynamic players in South Florida in senior guard Sam Singer and his 20 second-half points helped the Raiders seal a win over rival and host Gulliver.
Ransom (26-2) will face Davie University School on Saturday in the Region 4-4A final — for a chance to go to Lakeland.
Singer, a California commit, finished with 32 points on 12-of-28 shooting with five assists and three steals.
“This is special — beating Gulliver for the last time in my career,” Singer said. “I’m going to miss playing in games like this, especially this game. The atmosphere was great tonight and I was glad that I was able to lead my team to a victory.”