Coral Reef ready to defend crown

 <span class="cutline_leadin">Winding up:</span> Michelle Mesa will try to help Coral Reef win back-to-back state titles for the first time in school history when it starts the final four Wednesday.
Winding up: Michelle Mesa will try to help Coral Reef win back-to-back state titles for the first time in school history when it starts the final four Wednesday.
Al Diaz / Miami Herald Staff

Last Week’s Best Performances

The Northwestern girls’ track and field team won its state-record 11th state championship this weekend dominating the Class 3A field. Lloydricia Cameron finished her career winning the shot put and discus titles to finish with five individual state championships.

The Booker T. boys’ track and field team won its second state championship capturing the Class 2A crown. Nigel Bethel led the Tornadoes winning the 100 and 200 meters and leading the winning 1,600 relay.


Erik Manoah, South Dade, baseball: Manoah struck out 12 and allowed just four hits in a 3-0 shutout of Columbus in a Region 4-8A quarterfinal.

David Cervantes, Miami Springs, baseball: Cervantes threw a one-hitter to lead the Golden Hawks to a 4-0 upset win over Belen in a Region 4-6A quarterfinal.

Eddy Demurias, Killian, baseball: Demurias hit a walk-off single, a home run and pitched a scoreless relief inning to help the Cougars beat Coral Gables 6-5 in a Region 4-8A quarterfinal.

Tori Rios, Gulliver, softball: Rios threw out the would-be tying runner at second to seal a 2-1 victory over Delray American Heritage in the Region 4-4A final.

Caitlin Charlton, Westminster Christian, softball: Charlton went 2 for 3 with a home run and three RBI to lead the Warriors to a 11-0 win over Lake Worth Trinity Christian in the Region 4-3A final.

Carsyn Gordon, Coral Reef, softball: Gordon hit a two-run home run and delivered the game-tying double in the seventh to help the Barracudas eventually beat West Broward 7-5 in 10 innings in the Region 4-8A final.

Fred Jones, Central, boys’ track and field: Jones swept the shot put and discus state championships at the Class 3A meet.

Christian Williams, American, boys’ track and field: Williams won the Class 4A high jump and was part of the winning 1,600-meter relay to help the Patriots earn a team runner-up finish.

Jeffrey Green, Northwestern, boys’ track and field: Green won the 400 meters and was part of the winning 1,600-meter relay to help the Bulls finish second in Class 3A.

Kimani Austin-Reese, Norland, girls’ track and field: Austin-Reese won the Class 3A 300 hurdles state championship.

Epiphany Thompson, Southridge, girls’ track and field: Thompson won the Class 4A shot put state championship.

Jack Harris, Killian, boys’ volleyball: Harris had 16 kills to lead the Cougars to a win over Palmetto and the District 16 championship.

Alondra Angulo, Mater, flag football: Angulo threw the winning touchdown pass, set up the Lions’ first touchdown with a 68-yard run and had a key interception in their 12-6 playoff win over Miramar.


Coral Reef’s softball team heads back to Vero Beach this week.

It has been a much bumpier journey this season than last year’s first state championship run.

But the Barracudas are still confident they have recaptured their winning ways at the right time.

Following a dramatic extra-inning win over West Broward this past Friday, Coral Reef will begin its bid to win back-to-back state titles for the first time in school history Wednesday afternoon when it takes on Oviedo Hagerty in a Class 8A state semifinal at Historic Dodgertown.

If the Barracudas (21-8) beat Hagerty, they could earn a rematch with Weston Cypress Bay — the team they beat for the state title last season — or face Valrico Bloomingdale in the final Thursday at 4:35 p.m.

Hagerty (27-4), a team with a roster of only two seniors and several sophomores and juniors, is making its first appearance in the state final four.

The Huskies did not face Coral Reef this season, but they beat Cypress Bay 12-4 in the Kissimmee Klassic in early April. They are led by junior pitcher Samantha Worrell, who enters the tournament with a 0.87 ERA.

Coral Reef’s lineup has finally been intact in the postseason after several injuries hampered the Barracudas.

Third baseman Carsyn Gordon saved Coral Reef from elimination with a clutch, two-out, two-strike double in the seventh against West Broward. First baseman Cassandra Garcia, who missed some time early in the season (finger injury), also had a key hit during the comeback.

But the biggest lift has been the return of second baseman Denver Keller from a broken hand. Keller is hitting .485 since coming back to the starting lineup.


Norland’s boys’ basketball team will honor three players headed to college. Guard Zachary McKnight will sign with Florida Gulf Coast, forward Tyrell Williams signed with Wyoming and guard Larry McKnight signed with Wofford.



Region 4-8A semifinal: South Dade at Killian, 4

Region 4-8A semifinal: Miami High at Flanagan, 7

Region 4-7A semifinal: American at St. Thomas Aquinas, 7

Region 4-6A semifinal: Mater Academy at Miami Springs, 4

Region 4-4A semifinal: Gulliver at Key West, 7:30

Region 4-3A semifinal at Tequesta Trace Park: Westminster Christian at Sagemont, 3:30

Region 4-2A semifinal at Archbishop Carroll: Miami Christian vs. Brito, 3:30


State first round play-in: Killian at Southwest, 7

State first round play-in: Ransom Everglades at Miami High, 7

State first round play-in: Mourning at McArthur, 7


State second round play-in at Milander Park: Mater Academy vs. Archbishop McCarthy, 7

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

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