Upstart Nova weathered Cypress Bay’s best shot and stormed back to beat the Lightning 71-54 in the BCAA Big 8 boys tournament quarterfinals Wednesday at Fort Lauderdale.
Nova, making only its second tournament appearance, trailed 17-4, unable to solve Cypress Bay’s three-point attack led by Jake Londos, who hit three three-pointers, and Jordan Davis (two three-pointers).
Nova, however, tightened its perimeter defense and answered with an 11-2 run bridging the first and second quarter behind a three-pointer by Nathan Griffin and an acrobatic scoop shot from Seth Coddington to cut the lead to 19-17 with 6:00 left in the second quarter.
“Cypress Bay punched us in the mouth,” said Nova coach Alin Andre, who has built the Titans into a Class 7A contender. “They hit five threes to start the first quarter but our kids have been responding when we have been hit like that. That was nothing new. We got hit and had to react and had to recover.”
Seth Coddington had 17 points, and Nathan Griffin and Zane DeSouza added 14 points each for the Titans. Shemar Bennett had 12 points. Davis led the Lightning with 22 points and Londos had 14 points.
Nova advances to face the winner of Thursday’s Blanche Ely-Coral Springs quarterfinal matchup at 6:30 p.m. Friday. In Thursday’s other quarterfinals, Taravella plays McArthur at 6:30.
Nova got its first lead (32-31) of the game in style when Devante Thompson converted a layup off a Dwyane Wade-like Euro step while getting fouled with 5:46 left in the third quarter.
DeSouza hit a three-pointer to push the cushion to 35-31 and later converted a three-point play off a blocking foul with 5:16 left in the fourth quarter for a 57-47 lead the Titans would not relinquish.
In the late quarterfinal, top seed Dillard looked every bit the tournament favorite by racing to a 48-26 halftime lead and cruising to a 71-43 victory over Douglas.
Junior star Jordan Wright keyed Dillard’s decisive first half with 20 of his 24 points. Raiquan Gray added 14 points and Robert Johnson had 12 points.
BCAA Big 8 Boys quarterfinals
▪ Nova 71, Cypress Bay 54: Nova (19-3): Griffin 14, Thompson 6, Desouza 14, Coddington 17, Walker 6, Bennett 12, Campbell 1. CB (16-7): Caucedo 4, Davis 22, Londos 14, Krivitzkin 11, North 2. Three-pointers: Griffin 3, Desouza 3, Londos 4, Krivitkin 3, Davis 2. HT: CB 29-27
▪ Dillard 71, Douglas 43: DOU(17-7): Knecht 8, Duroseau 5, Merkle 1, Raphael 2, Lemy 1, Pemberton 5, Jupiter 7, Shine 3, White 3, Murphy 2, Cooper 4, Julmice 2. DIL (18-5): Wright 24, Oliver 9, Farquharson 3, Garner 3, Johnson 12, Grey 14, Gadson 6. Three-pointers: Wright 2, Oliver, ,Farquharson, Garner, Knecht 2, Jupiter 2, Pemberton, White. HT: Dill 48-26.