SLAM Academy fans showed up in force at the Palmer Trinity gym last week to witness their girls’ basketball team make school history.
Those same fans are likely Lakeland-bound this week as the Titans make their state Final Four debut Wednesday morning in a Class 4A state semifinal against Jacksonville Providence at 10 a.m.
The winner will take on either Seffner Christian or three-time reigning state champion Miami Country Day in the final on Friday night at 8 p.m.
The Titans (24-2), whose nine-player roster is made up of three freshmen, three sophomores, two juniors and one senior, are led by 5-3 freshman point guard Marta Franco, who is averaging 15 points, four rebounds and four assists per game entering the state tournament.
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The lone senior is guard Arielys Rodriguez, who is averaging 10.1 points per game. The Titans, whose only losses are to Westminster Academy and Keys Gate this season, have begun to make a name for themselves in Miami-Dade County.
South Florida’s participation in the state tournament begins Tuesday with another first time visitor to Lakeland: Somerset Prep.
The Hurricanes (18-1) are in their second season under coach Christopher Cardoso, a Flanagan High alum, and are led by two sets of siblings. Senior guard Brianna Battle (23.4 points per game) and her sister junior Tyesha Battle (22.2 ppg) lead Somerset in scoring. Brianna has signed with Bethune Cookman.
The Levels sisters, Alexis, Anaiya and Aaliayah, have all played key roles on Somerset’s squad, as well.
The Hurricanes, who don’t have a player taller than 5-6 on their eight-player roster, have a huge task in front of them as they take on five-time state champion Tallahassee FAMU at 6 p.m. Tuesday night in a Class 3A semifinal.
▪ South Plantation 11, Coconut Creek 5: WP: Jeffrey Cohick (1-0) 4 IP, 10 K’s. Chris Campi 3-5, 1B, 2B, 3B, 5 RBI. SP 1-0.
▪ BSN Explorer Challenge — Somerset Academy 3, SLAM 2: Jordan Carrion 2-4, R. Gainny Galvez 2-3, RBI. SL (0-1): Sebastian Euceda 1-2, R. Christian Hermosilla R.
▪ Palmetto 1, Sunset 0: WP: Matt Turner (1-0), 9 K’s, 2 H. LP: Jondi Foeinas. SV: Jake Sheeder 3 K’s, H. Eddy Arteaga 1-2, 2B. Alec Lamas R. PAL 1-0.
▪ Saturday - Ransom Everglades 8, Coral Shores 5: Declan Cummiskey goal, 3 assists. Chris Kucera 2 goals, assist. Jonas Janette 2 goals. RE 2-1. CS 2-2.
Region 4-9A semifinal: S.Miami at Palmetto, 7
Region 4-9A semifinal: N.Miami at P.Pines Charter, 7
Region 3-9A semifinal: Deerfield Beach at Coral Springs, 7
Region 4-8A semifinal: Palm Beach Lakes at Blanche Ely, 7
Region 4-8A semifinal: McArthur at Nova, 7
Region 4-7A semifinal: Norland at Doral, 7
Region 4-7A semifinal: Sebastian River at Dillard, 7
Region 4-6A semifinal: R.Beach Suncoast at Hallandale, 7
Region 4-5A semifinal: Calvary Christian at NSU University School, 7
Region 4-5A semifinal: M.Lakes at Gulliver, 7
Region 4-4A final: Florida Christian at Archbishop Carroll, 7
Region 3-4A final: Westminster Academy at Sagemont, 7
Region 4-3A final: Delray Village Academy at Champagnat Catholic, 7
Region 4-2A final: Boca Grandview Prep at Miami Christian, 7
If you go
What: State girls’ basketball finals.
Where: The Lakeland Center, 701 W. Lime Street, Lakeland.
When: Tuesday through Saturday.
Admission: $10 per day; Parking: $10.
2016 state champions – Class 8A: Vero Beach; 7A: Winter Haven; 6A: Fort Myers; 5A: Jacksonville Ribault; 4A: Orlando Lake Highland Prep; 3A: Miami Country Day; 2A: Tallahassee FAMU; 1A: Madison County.
Tuesday’s schedule – Class 1A semifinals: Wildwood vs. Bonifay Holmes County, 10 a.m.; Santa Rosa Beach South Walton vs. Mayo Lafayette, noon; Class 2A semifinals: Boca Raton Grandview Prep vs. Monticello Aucilla Christian, 2; Ormond Beach Calvary Christian vs. Winter Park Geneva, 4; Class 3A semifinals: Somerset Prep vs. Tallahassee, FAMU, 6; Tampa Carrollwood vs. Bradenton Christian, 8.
Wednesday’s schedule - Class 4A semifinals: SLAM vs. Jacksonville Providence, 10 a.m.; Miami Country Day vs. Seffner Christian, noon; Class 5A semifinals: Cardinal Gibbons vs. Florida High, 2; Orlando Jones vs. West Palm Beach Oxbridge Academy, 4; Class 1A final: 6; Class 2A final: 8:30.
Thursday’s schedule - Class 6A semifinals: American Heritage vs. Jacksonville Ribault, 11 a.m.; Ponte Vedra vs. St. Petersburg Lakewood, 1; Class 7A semifinals: Northeast vs. Fort Walton Beach, 3; Fort Myers vs. Orlando Edgewater, 5; Class 3A final: 7.
Friday’s schedule - Class 8A semifinals: South Broward vs. Fleming Island, noon; Winter Haven vs. Naples Gulf Coast, 2; Class 9A semifinals: Ferguson vs. Wekiva, 4; Boca Raton vs. Orlando Olympia, 6; Class 4A final: 8
Saturday’s schedule - Class 5A final: 10 a.m.; Class 6A final: 12:30; Class 9A final: 3; Class 8A final: 5:30; Class 7A final: 8.