Westminster Christian senior M.J. Melendez, rated the top high school catcher prospect for 2017 by Baseball America and the son of first-year FIU coach Mervyl Melendez, spearheads a loaded squad looking to win the Class 4A state title.
Westminster (27-4) advances to the state final four in Lakeland for the second straight year and will look to erase the painful memories of a last-second loss to Windemere Prep in last year’s state title game. The Lions will square off against Seffner Christian on March 1 in a state semifinal in the Lakeland Center.
The Hurricanes were eliminated by two-time defending state champion Tallahassee FAMU, 59-48, a team making its seventh state finals appearance in a row in the Class 3A semifinals at The Lakeland Center.
Archbishop McCarthy enters the season ranked No. 1 nationally while American Heritage, Calvary Christian and Douglas are also ranked among the country’s best in one of Broward’s most talent-rich seasons ever.
The Cypress Bay Lightning, on the strength of an early David Corredor goal in the game’s seventh minute, made it stand up the entire way as they knocked off Bradenton Lakewood Ranch 1-0 in the Class 5A state championship game at Spec Martin Memorial Stadium.
Making its first state final four appearance in any team sport, Doral (24-3-1) was seeking its second state title in any sport since the school opened 17 years ago — the boys’ soccer team was hoping to join the boys’ swimming team from 2015.
South Broward spotted Fort Lauderdale a 16-point lead before storming back with 22-5 run bridging the third and fourth quarter to stun the Flying L’s 73-68 in overtime in a Region 4-8A final on Friday that will go down as a classic.
The St. Thomas Aquinas Raiders, frustrated all afternoon by lousy luck and a hot goalkeeper on the other side, finally got the goal they needed with 13:21 left in regulation and added an insurance goal eight minutes later that paved the way for a 2-0 victory over St. Johns Creekside in the Class 4A state championship game at Spec Martin Municipal Stadium.
Led by state championship thrower Debbie Ajagbe, Ransom Everglades’ girls’ track and field team is a favorite in the Class 2A and adds to a deep pool of talent in Miami-Dade this year led by Northwestern and Southridge.
Kheron Milwood’s go-ahead bucket with 14 seconds left and a late defensive stand helped visiting McArthur eliminate Mater Academy from the boys’ basketball regional playoffs for the second consecutive season. Also, Palmetto won in a thriller, beating Coral Gables in three overtimes, and Calvary Christian enacted revenge over Boca Raton-St. Andrew’s.
No longer do conversations about Chaminade’s track program start and end with Shivers, a Class 2A state runner-up in the 100 and 200 last season. Adding another sprint star in Williams this year created unprecedented buzz around the Lions program.
Northeast girls’ basketball coach Zach Gillion, a Seventh-day Adventist, couldn’t coach the Hurricanes in last year’s state final for religious reasons. The FHSAA allowed the Hurricanes to play their regional final on Saturday so Gillion would be able to coach.
Gulliver guard Shannon Kunkel developed a tumor in her right leg her freshman year that has sidelined her for long stretches of her career. After multiple surgeries, the tumor is gone and Kunkel is back just in time to try to help Gulliver win a state championship.