After long absence, Boyd Anderson Cobras seek return to throne


If you go

What: State boys’ basketball championships.

When: Through Saturday.

Where: The Lakeland Center, 701 W. Lime St., Lakeland.

Admission: $10 per session; Parking: $8 per day.

Wednesday’s results — Class 1A semifinals: Malone 67, Chiefland 59; Jasper Hamilton County 85, Chipley 48.; Class 3A final: Sagemont 79. Tampa Prep 48; Class 4A final: Orlando Lake Highland Prep 58, Jacksonville Ribault 53.

Thursday’s schedule — Class 1A final: Hamilton County vs. Malone, noon; Class 2A final: Boca Raton Grandview Prep vs. Orlando Christian Prep, 3:30; Class 7A semifinals: Melbourne vs. Bartow, 7; Boyd Anderson vs. Oviedo, 8:30.

Friday’s schedule — Class 5A semifinals: Plantation American Heritage vs. Panama City Rutherford, 10 a.m.; St. Petersburg Lakewood vs. Gainesville Eastside, 11:30 a.m.; Class 6A semifinals: Miami Norland vs. Jacksonville Ed White, 2:30; Ruskin Lennard vs. Lake Minneola, 4; Class 8A semifinals: Winter Park vs. Greenacres John I. Leonard, 7; South Miami vs. Orlando Evans, 8:30.

Saturday’s schedule — Class 5A final: 10 a.m.; Class 6A final: 1:30; Class 7A final: 5; Class 8A final: 8:30.

Special to The Miami Herald

It’s the 20th-year anniversary of Boyd Anderson’s lone state title in boys’ basketball, and this time, Eugene Richardson hopes to be on the right side of history.

Richardson was a rookie head coach in 1994 when Coconut Creek lost to the Cobras in the Class 5A regional final, 73-55. Boyd Anderson went on to beat Orlando Boone in the state final.

The Cobras came close to a second title in 2008, losing the Class 6A state final to Miami Norland, 59-54.

Richardson, who coached that 2008 Cobras team, laughed when asked to compare that club with the current group.

"There’s not much to compare,” Richardson finally said in his raspy voice. “That [2008] team had six or seven scorers who were all Division I players, and they had been together since grade school.”

This season’s team, which includes two starters who arrived as transfers in the fall, lacks the talent of 2008, Richardson said, but he is not ruling out a title.

The Cobras (24-5) will challenge Oviedo (26-4) Thursday night at 8:30 p.m. in Lakeland. The winner will play either Bartow or Melbourne for the title on Saturday.

Boyd Anderson is led by 6-5 senior wing Rodney Simeon, the team’s go-to scorer and a transfer from Miami Central.

Diandre Wilson, a 6-1 junior shooting guard, is a slasher, and Dondre Duffus, a 6-2 senior point guard, is a transfer from Wellington who is able to penetrate defenses and set up teammates.

Richardson said Nick Eubank, a 6-5 sophomore forward, and Pitchon Pierre, a 5-10 senior guard, do the dirty work.

The keys off the bench are 6-8 senior center Roody Romain, 6-4 senior wing Romain Johnson and 6-2 junior guard Jef Moise.

“The guys know their roles,” said Richardson, who is in his 1lth year as Boyd Anderson coach.

Boyd Anderson can expect a tough game from Oviedo, which has a rich history. Oviedo won state titles in 1957 and 1992 and made it to the state semifinals as recently as 2012. Oviedo tangled with Miami High in two state finals, beating a Shakey Rodriguez-coached team in 1992 and losing to coach Frank Martin in 1997.

This season, Oviedo has a top prospect in 6-4 junior shooting guard Matt Milon, who leads the team in scoring (18.3) and has many major-conference scholarship offers.

Other Oviedo players to watch include 6-5 senior forward R.J. June (17.4 points, 9.1 rebounds), 6-5 senior forward Dexter Graham (16.6 points) and 5-8 junior point guard Carlos Maffuz, a lefty who averages 7.9 assists.

Should the Cobras get past Oviedo, they could face Bartow (20-10), which has two top prospects in 6-3 senior point guard and Wofford recruit Derrick Brooks (15.4 points, 6.3 assists) and 6-8 sophomore forward Tony Bradley (18 points, 11.7 rebounds), who has numerous major offers.

The Cobras, though, are not fazed by any of this, according to Richardson. The coach has his players do their homework right after school, and then they practice for about 3  1/2 hours per night.

“I try to get them tired,” Richardson said. “They they go home and watch basketball, and we talk about it the next day.

“The kids are happy they are going to state, but they are not satisfied. They are not bragging or boasting. They are ready to work.”


• Archbishop McCarthy 7, Westminster Academy 0: Singles: Kelsey Berman 8-0. Raquel Gil 8-2. Gloria Cabrero 8-1. Antonella Castillo 8-4. Jessica Menendez 8-1. Doubles: Berman/Cabrero 8-3. Gil/Gonzalez 8-2.

• South Broward 6, Monarch 1: Alex Garmarra 8-0. Jennifer Nguyen 8-0. Jen Luechauer 8-3. Sefora Vicouan 8-0. Gabriella Robotis 8-5.


• Archbishop McCarthy 4, Westminster Academy 3:Singles: Dimitri Saltzman 8-1. Andrew Puglisi 8-2. Andre Nunez (WA) 8-3. Chris Wheeler-Sabatino 8-5. Walter Paniagua 8-3. Doubles: Carter/Abernathy (WA) 6-1. Nunez /Climenhage (WA) 6-4.

• South Broward 5, Monarch 5: Caio Henriques 8-3. Ben Wainstein 8-2. Brandon Maroca 8-4. Nicholas Mesa 8-2. Daniel Gridi 8-6.


• Douglas 18, Deerfield Beach 0:

SD 18 15 0 0 — 10 4 4

DB 0 1 2 0 — 0 0 0

WP: Brielle Way. LP: V. Charsina. Top Performers: Sami Feller 3-4, 3 RBI, 3 runs scored. Kayla Boyle 3-4, 2 RBI, 3 runs. Katie Peterson 3-3, HR, 4 runs, 4 RBI. DOU 6-2.

• West Broward 10, McArthur 0:

MCA 0 0 0 0 0 0 — 0 3 3

WB 2 1 3 1 2 1 — 10 16 0

WP: Laiacona (6-1). LP: Mansfield. Top Performers: Laiacona 8 Ks. Demerieux 2-3, 2 B, 3 R. Obier 2-4, 3 B, RBI, 2 R. WB 7-1.


• South Plantation 6, Western 3:

SP 1 3 1 1 0 0 X — 6

WH 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 — 3

WP: Ryan Terril. LP: Baetzem. Top Performers: Steven Seager 2-4, 2 doubles. Aron Sigal 1-3, HR. Ryan Terril 6 IP. SP 2-2-1.

• Cooper City 7, Piper 2:

PIP 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 — 2 7 1

CC 1 1 2 2 0 1 0 — 7 8 1

WP: John Hamey (2-0) LP: Chase Perry (0-1). Top Performers: John Hamey 2 runs, 8 ks. Nico Salteir 2-4, double, 2 runs socred, SB. Phillip Tomasulo 1-2, HR, RBI, run scored. CC 4-2


• Cooper City 18, Hollywood Hills 11: Ronit Ben-Joseph 7 goals. Madison Martinez 6 goals. CC (1-1)

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