Boys’ basketball preview

Norland poised for title repeat

 

Led by senior guard Zachary Johnson, the Vikings return their starting lineup from championship team.

Key dates

Dec. 18-23: City of Palms Classic in Fort Myers. Dec. 19-21: Kreul Classic in Coral Springs City Gym; Dec. 27-28, 30: Junior Orange Bowl at Reagan; Dec. 27-30: Gulfshore Hoopfest at Naples Golden Gate; Dec. 27-30: Kingdom of the Sun at Ocala Vanguard. Jan. 17-18, Jan 20: TOC, Inc. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Classic at Ransom Everglades; Feb. 3-5, 7-8: Districts; Feb. 13: Regional quarterfinals; Feb. 18: Regional semifinals; Feb. 21-22: Regional finals; Feb. 25-March 1: State finals at The Lakeland Center.

Top returning players

G Zachary Johnson, Norland, Sr.; G Antonio Ralat, Gulliver, Sr.; F Demetrius Jackson, Booker T., Sr.; F Joseph Lopez, South Miami, Sr.; C Alonzo Mourning III, Ransom, Sr.; C Wyatt Sykora, Florida Christian, Sr.; C Zach Brown, Miami Beach, Fr.

Others to watch

F Tylan Birts, South Dade, Sr.; G Marquise Clark, South Miami, Sr.; W Raul Frias, Mater Academy, Jr.; G Dylan Frye, Mater Academy, So.; F Eugene Joseph, Westwood Christian, Jr.; F Joseph Jou, Westwood Christian, Jr.; G Matt McLean, Westminster Christian, Sr.; G Jonathan Spicer, American, Sr.; G Marquise Warren, Miami Beach, Sr.; C Tyrell Williams, Norland, Sr.

Preseason top 10

1. Norland; 2. South Miami; 3. Miami High; 4. Miami Beach; 5. Mater Academy; 6. Coral Gables; 7. Columbus; 8. Westwood Christian; 9. South Dade; 10. American.

Team outlooks — Class 8A

1. SOUTH MIAMI (Coach Robert Doctor, 10th year, 168-63). Last year: 29-4 (State runner-up). Top players: F Joseph Lopez, 6-7, Sr.; PG Marquise Clark, 6-1, Sr.; PG Trayvon Barney, 5-8, Jr.; F Latravian Glover, 6-7, Fr.

2. MIAMI HIGH (Coach Marcus Carreno). Last year: 15-9 (Regional semifinalist).

3. MIAMI BEACH (Coach Jacob Shaw, 1st year). Last year: 5-17. Top players: C Zacharia Brown, 7-1, Fr.; G Marquise Warren, 5-9, Sr.; G Kennith Rolle, 5-10, Fr.; F Erick Rosado, 6-8, Fr.

4. CORAL GABLES (Coach Gaston "Chachi" Rodriguez, 2nd year at CG, 26th overall). Last year: 9-14. Top players: F-C Roodney Martinez, 6-5, Sr.; G Bryan Delrosario, 5-7, Sr.; F Al-Wajid Aminu, 6-6, So.; G Imani Figuereo, 6-1, Sr.

5. COLUMBUS (Coach Henry Lorenzo, 5th year at COL, 18th overall, 343-153). Last year: 20-8 (Regional quarterfinalist). Top players: G Chris Melendez, 6-1, Sr.; G Sheldon Durant, 6-0, Sr.; G David Diaz, 5-10, Sr.; F Alex Vanzant, 6-3, Jr.

6. SOUTH DADE (Coach Rick Garciga, 5th year at SD, 20th overall, 302-189). Last year: 9-13. Top players: F Tylan Birts, 6-5, Sr.; F Daniel Cooper, 6-5, Sr.; G Jose Fernandez, 6-1, Sr.; G Kenneth Lloyd, 5-8, Sr.

7. SOUTHRIDGE (Coach John Herron, 4th year at SR, 11th overall, 162-84). Last year: 17-7. Top players: G Canaari Bartley, 6-3, Jr.; PG Johnny Garcia, 5-11, Sr.; PF Drake Tisdale, 6-6, So.; F Jeff Collier, 6-5, So.

8. NORTH MIAMI (Coach Humberto Govea, 2nd year at NM, 5th overall, 34-28). Last year: 11-11. Top players: F Frosnet Cine, 6-7, Sr.; G Alex Flourentine, 6-3, Sr.; G Terrell Brown, 5-11, Sr.; C Claudy Edouard, 7-1, Sr.

9. CORAL REEF (Coach Adam Graham, 3rd year, 19-7). Last year: 18-9 (Regional quarterfinalist). Top players: G David Bargamento, 5-9, Sr.; G Chris Cannady, 5-9, Sr.; F Davian Bryan, 6-3, So.; G A.J. Stevens, 5-9, Jr.

10. BRADDOCK (Coach Willie Diaz, 18th year at BR, 30th overall, 331-386). Last year: 12-12. Top players: G Emanuelle Garcia, 5-10, Jr.; F Adrian Echemendia, 6-3, Sr.; PG Gerson Cueto, 5-9, Sr.; C Aldolfo Diaz, 6-3, Jr.

11. FERGUSON (Coach Tom Jicha, 1st year at FER, 20th overall). Last year: N/A. Top players: F Michael Stoltenberg, 6-1, Jr.; F Steven Jamerson, 6-3, Sr.; C David Claro, 6-3, Sr.; G Jonathan Schey, 5-9, Sr.

12. VARELA (Coach Cesar Lacaci, 14th year). Last year: 10-12. Top players: G Javier Baez, 6-0, Sr.; PG Hector Duran, 5-7, Sr.; G Ivan Baez, 5-10, Sr.

13. SOUTHWEST (Coach Tom Moore, 31st year). Last year: N/A. Top players: F Josel Aloma, 6-0, Jr.; F Anthony Diaz, 6-2, Sr.; G Peter Davidson, 6-3, Jr.; Armando Rodriguez, 5-8, So.

14. DR. KROP (Coach Steven Grootnuis, 2nd year, 0-21). Last year: 0-21. Top players: G Karl Jeanty, 6-3, So.; G Terry McFadden, 6-2, Sr.; G-F Diondre Mompoint, 6-2, Sr.; F Felipe Souza, 6-6, So.

Class 7A

1. AMERICAN (Coach Kelvin Farrington, 6th year at AM, 22nd overall). Last year: 20-6. Top players: W Jonathan Spicer, 6-4, Sr.; G Luis Escobar, 6-2, So.; Jimmy Liz, 6-4, So.; Kolkani Grant, 6-0, Sr.

2. REAGAN (Coach Alfonso "Flash" Fernandez, 1st year at RR, 9th overall). Last year: N/A. Top players: F Shawn Curtis, 6-3, Jr.; G Michael Pena, 6-0, Sr.; F Andres Sarmiento, 6-2, Sr.; F Thomas Humphries, 6-3, Sr.

Class 6A

1. NORLAND (Coach Lawton Williams III, 11th year, 228-63). Last year: 27-5 (State champions). Top players: G Zachary Johnson, 6-2, Sr.; C Tyrell Williams, 6-7, Sr.; PF Dewan Huell, 6-10, So.; PG Dalvin Roberts, 6-2, Sr.

2. MATER ACADEMY (Coach Corey Stephens, 8th year, 113-73). Last year: 13-12. Top players: W Raul Frias, 6-2, Jr.; G Dylan Frye, 6-1, So.; G Isaiah Reese, 6-3, Jr.; W Jesus Fernandez, 6-3, Sr.

3. NORTHWESTERN (Coach Travis Chandler, 1st year at NW, 5th overall, 80-40). Last year: 15-9 (Regional quarterfinalist). Top players: F Dotson Griffin, 6-6, Sr.; G Alexae Curry, 5-8, Sr.; G-F Aaron Kinsey, 6-5, Jr.; C Matthew Bellamy, 6-6, Jr.

4. DORAL ACADEMY (Coach Jarrett Forbes, 10th year, 102-101). Last year: 17-13 (Regional quarterfinalist). Top players: PG Anthony Fernandez, 6-1, Jr.; SG Jonathan Pierre, 6-1, Jr.; G Jeffery Steel, 6-1, Jr.; F Jason Solivan, 6-3, Jr.

5. JACKSON (Coach Art Herrera, 2nd year at JAC, 7th overall). Last year: 12-9. Top players: G Willie Phillips, 6-1, Sr.; G Brandon Thompson, 6-2, Sr.; G Derrick Brown, 6-0, Sr.; F Travian Green, 6-6, Jr.

6. BELEN JESUIT (Coach Jose Roca, 17th year, 290-168). Last year: 15-11. Top players: G-F Nicolas Iparraguirre, 6-3, Sr.; G-F John Medina, 6-2, Sr.; G-F Andres Perez, 6-1, Sr.; C Frank Battle, 6-5, Jr.

7. MIAMI SPRINGS (Coach Delmar Wilson, 5th year, 52-50). Last year: 13-12 (Regional quarterfinalist). Top players: F Victor Troya, 6-4, Sr.; G Sebastian Alderete, 6-2, So.

8. TERRA (Coach Bill Healy, 1st year at TERRA, 35th overall, 380-617). Last year: 7-9. Top players: G Anthony Mayor, 6-3, Sr.; G Chris Grant, 5-7, Sr.; F Brian Melamud, 6-3, Sr.; C Spencer Schau, 6-6, Sr.

Class 4A

1. GULLIVER (Coach Manny Bloom, 3rd year at GP, 12th overall, 162-111). Last year: 22-7 (Regional semifinalist). Top players: PG Antonio Ralat, 6-3, Sr.; C Victor Uyaelunmo, 6-11, Fr.; SG Marc Chasin, 6-4, Sr.; SG Enrique Lafuente, 6-0, Sr.

2. RANSOM EVERGLADES (Coach Claude Grubair, 15th year at RE, 21st overall, 368-134). Last year: 29-3 (State semifinalist). Top players: C Alonzo Mourning III, 6-10, Sr.; G Nick Stern, 6-5, Sr.; G Scott Rivkin, 6-0, Jr.; F Sean Bonner, 6-6, Sr.

3. FLORIDA CHRISTIAN (Coach Dan Pruessner, 8th year, 99-85). Last year: 16-14 (Regional semifinalist). Top players: C Wyatt Sikora, 6-11, Sr.; PG John Cardoza, 5-11, Jr.; SG-PG Garrett Wicks, 5-10, Sr.; PF Gabe Perez, 6-3, So.

4. BOOKER T. (Coach Javorie Wilson, 5th year at BTW, 10th overall, 66-33). Last year: 20-8 (Regional quarterfinalist). Top players: F Demetrius Jackson, 6-5, Sr.; SG Dante Pitpit, 5-8, Sr.; W-G Dangelo Passmore, 6-3, Sr.; PG Donald Hutchinson, 5-11, Jr.

5. MONSIGNOR PACE (Coach Anthony Serro, 2nd year, 9-20). Last year: 9-20. Top players: G C.J. Fisher, 6-1, Jr.; G Danny Duarte, 6-3, Sr.; F Josh Ferguson, 6-7, Jr.; G Sebastien Jean, 6-0, So.

6. LA SALLE (Coach Michael Guilbaud, 1st year). Last year: N/A. Top players: G Lowan Tyler, 5-10, So.; F-C Ronique Robinson, 6-8, Jr.; G Rodrigo Berdullas, 5-10, Sr.; G-F Christopher Lopez, 6-2, So.

7. EDISON (Coach Damon Wilcox, 2nd year at ED, 6th overall, 43-22). Last year: 17-7. Top players: PG-SG Joshua Basden, 6-2, Sr.; C Marck Benard, 6-8, Jr.; PF Jose Jacques, 6-3, Sr.; SF Justin Blue, 6-2, Sr.

8. ST. BRENDAN (Coach Edward Pena, 1st year at StB, 7th overall). Last year: N/A. Top players: SG-SF Chris Moliver, Jr.; PG-SG Daniel Cordero, Fr.; PG-SG Eddie Garcia, Sr.; PG Tristan Whittingham, Sr.

Class 3A

1. WESTWOOD CHRISTIAN (Coach Jose Amat, 10th year, 172-51). Last year: 26-5 (State semifinalist). Top players: F Eugene Joseph, 6-3, Jr.; F Joseph Jou, 6-4, Jr.; G Dustin Hernandez, 5-9, Sr.; G Sherer Desinor, 6-3, Sr.

2. WESTMINSTER CHRISTIAN (Coach P.J. Brown, 4th year, 32-21). Last year: 19-9 (Regional finalist). Top players: G Matt McLean, 5-11, Sr.; G Diego Miller, 5-10, Sr.; G John Raine, 6-2, So.

3. MIAMI COUNTRY DAY (Coach Bryan Parizo, 17th year, 264-150). Last year: 21-7 (Regional quarterfinalist). Top players: Brandon Parizo, Sr.; Ryan Gomez, Jr.; Tyler Sherwood, Sr.; Henry Clements, Sr.

4. ARCHBISHOP CURLEY (Coach Charlie Funk). Last year: 20-7 (Regional quarterfinalist). Top players: W Jordan Lemonier, 6-1, Sr.; PG Woody Pierre, 5-10, Sr.; G Hugo Blanchard, 5-10, Sr.; W Serge Aristide, 5-10, Sr.

5. HIALEAH EDUCATIONAL (Coach Jeff Stepanenko, 2nd year, 8-12). Last year: 8-12. Top players: G Robert Munoz, 5-10, Sr.; F Julio Munoz, 6-0, Jr.

6. HILLEL (Coach Chris Moltmann, 4th year, 58-43). Last year: 9-9. Top players: G Jack Kaswan, 5-8, Jr.; C Alex Fromizon, 6-3, Sr.

Class 2A

1. CHAMPAGNAT CATHOLIC (Coach Danny Serrano, 4th year at CCS, 9th overall, 177-54). Last year: 25-6 (Regional semifinalist). Top players: SF Bradley Nairn, 6-4, Sr.; SG Antario Collie, 6-0, Sr.; PG Jonathan Chapotin, 5-11, Sr.; F-C Nashad Mackey, 6-5, Jr.

2. MIAMI CHRISTIAN (Coach Oz Pineda, 7th year at MC, 8th overall, 125-57). Last year: 17-7 (Regional quarterfinalist). Top players: G-F Arnaldo Lopez, 6-4, Sr.; PG Kevin Rodriguez, 5-7, Jr.; SF Miguel Castellano, 5-10, Sr.; G-F Josh Rosario, 6-1, Fr.

3. HEBREW ACADEMY (Coach Scott Berman, 1st year). Last year: 18-5 (Regional quarterfinalist). Top players: G Morris Esformes, 5-11, Jr.; G Chad Marin, 5-10, Jr.; G Jack Esformes, 6-0, Fr.

4. PRINCETON CHRISTIAN (Coach Benny Fernandez, 1st year at PC, 2nd overall, 3-15). Last year: 2-18. Top players: G Alex Rodriguez, 5-10, Jr.; PG Devon Herrman, 5-9, Sr.; SF Over Seijas, 6-1, Sr.; PF Isaak Torres, 6-1, Fr.

Independent

SCHOOLHOUSE PREP (Coach Isaac Liber, 1st year, 33rd overall, 615-274). Last year: First year. Top players: G Donovin Tiger, 5-10, Fr.; C John Osceola, 6-1, Fr.; F Chris Saller, 6-1, Jr.; F Matt Lindner, 5-11, Jr.


a1fernandez@MiamiHerald.com

Norland’s boys’ basketball team never has a problem reloading for another run at a state championship.

They don’t have to this season.

Led by returning senior guard Zachary Johnson, a Florida Gulf Coast University signee as of Monday, the Vikings return their entire starting lineup from last year’s state championship team.

Norland, which has won four state titles in the past eight years, is aiming for more history this season in Class 6A.

The Vikings can become the third Miami-Dade County school to win three consecutive state titles joining Miami High and Northwest Christian.

Many returning

Norland coach Lawton Williams III said this is the most returning players he has ever had following a state championship. Being heavily favored has not created any complacency among the Vikings.

“Experience and depth will definitely be our strengths,” Williams said. “I wouldn’t allow any complacency. We should be good.”

Johnson averaged 13.3 points per game last season, but stood out in the playoffs averaging over 20 points and earning state final four MVP honors.

Norland’s frontcourt will be among the strongest in the state overall. Senior center Tyrell Williams, a 6-7 third-team All-Dade selection, returns and will be helped by 6-10 sophomore power forward Dewan Huell.

Johnson leads a backcourt that’s not very tall, but is quick, athletic and aggressive on defense — a typical strength of Norland teams during its championship run.

Seniors Dalvin Roberts, Larry McKnight and Ryan Mike lead the group.

Other contenders

Norland’s biggest local challenger figures to be Mater Academy, one of the more improved teams in the county.

The Lions should have one of the most explosive backcourts in the county led by junior Raul Frias and sophomore Dylan Frye.

Class 8A

South Miami came up short of winning the Class 8A state title last season losing in the final to Oviedo Hagerty. The Cobras figure to be the frontrunners in a wide open race to reach Lakeland in the state’s largest classification.

Senior forward Joseph Lopez, a Winthrop University commitment, leads the Cobras.

Miami High, Coral Gables and Columbus all figure to be in the mix.

The most improved team in the region, however, could be Miami Beach. The Hi-Tides, who went 5-17 last season, are led by 7-1 freshman Zach Brown, a transfer from Archbishop Curley that SourceHoops rates the top freshman in Florida. Senior guard Marquise Warren leads a talented backcourt.

Classes 4A-2A

Ransom Everglades lost top scorer Sam Singer, now a freshman at California. The Raiders return center Alonzo Mourning III and several seniors they hope will help them navigate through a tougher Class 4A road to state that includes much-improved Gulliver and Florida Christian.

Westwood Christian, a Class 2A state semifinalist last season, moved up to Class 3A. The Warriors will have to surpass a tougher region that includes Weston Sagemont, Melbourne Florida Air Academy, Westminster Christian and Miami Country Day.

Read more Miami-Dade High Schools stories from the Miami Herald

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