Miami High expected a rematch with Ferguson if it reached the regional final.
But the Stingarees also knew earning their place in that game wasn’t going to be easy against Pembroke Pines Flanagan.
Thanks to an aggressive defensive effort down the stretch, clutch shooting from guard Alondra Angulo and another monster performance from star center Beatrice Mompremier, Miami High edged the visiting Falcons 49-47 in a Region 4-8A semifinal Tuesday night.
“This was a game that I told our kids all week was going to be tough after we had a close one in the playoffs with them last season,” Miami High coach Sam Baumgarten said. “We needed this. It’s too bad we’re in each other’s way because both teams deserved to advance.”
The Stingarees (26-3) will travel to Ferguson (25-4), which beat Lourdes on Tuesday, in a rematch at 7 p.m. Saturday night of last year’s regional final won by Miami High. The Stingarees, the reigning Class 8A state champions who are vying for a third consecutive trip to the state final four, also beat Ferguson in this year’s GMAC championship game.
“I think our road in this region is the toughest road,” Baumgarten said. “We have to do what we did in the first four minutes of this game tonight. We have to go inside and play to our strengths and keep our composure.”
Flanagan 5-7 junior guard Jenniffer Oramas finished with 21 points and hit a three-pointer with less than 30 seconds left to cut Miami High’s lead to two points. The combination of Oramas and 6-2 junior forward Mikiah Harrigan (19 points) gave the Stingarees trouble throughout most of the game.
The Falcons regained possession with 12.1 seconds remaining. But Oramas lost the handle on her dribble and was tied up for a jump ball. The possession arrow went to Miami High with four seconds left. Miami High inbounded the ball and ran out the remaining time.
Mompremier, recently named a McDonald’s All-American, finished with 30 points, 17 rebounds and five blocks. Mompremier also went 6 for 6 from the free- throw line and hit two clutch foul shots down the stretch.
Angulo finished with 12 points, made three three-pointers and delivered on the defensive end late as well. Andrisia Sweeting had seven assists and Annielssse Vargas finished with five.
MHS (26-3): Mompremier 30, Angulo 12, Vargas 5, Dukes 2. FL (22-7): Lubin 4, Oramas 21, Harrigan 19, Roy 2, Cogdell 1. Half: MHS 21-19. Fouled out: Dukes. Three-pointers: Angulo 3, Oramas, Harrigan. Rebounds: Mompremier 17. Assists: Sweeting 7. Steals: Angulo 3. Blocks: Mompremier 5.
▪ Region 4-8A semifinal — Ferguson 51, Lourdes 33: Annie Osceola scored 20 points to go with eight assists, and Ferguson’s press defense smothered Lourdes in a rout at home to get the Falcons into the regional finals for the second consecutive season.
Ferguson (25-4) jumped out to an early lead and created havoc defensively all night, forcing Lourdes into 27 turnovers — 19 of them on steals — and never looked back.
Backcourt mates Osceola and Gio Perez each had six steals. Perez added eight points and five assists
“[Perez] doesn’t stop. She’s the engine and Annie is the brains of the team. You have Gio going crazy and Annie with the calming effect,” said Ferguson coach Gabriel Lazo, who has turned his Falcons into contenders after being winless four years ago. “Today we controlled the tempo of the game.”
Natalia Pineda and Kamaria Johnson each had eight points and 10 rebounds.
Ferguson will host Miami High in a rematch of last season’s Region 4-8A final at 7 p.m. Saturday.
The Falcons handed district foe Lourdes (21-5) four of its five losses this season.
FER: Osceola 20, Perez 8, Pineda 8, Johnson 8, Rodriguez 7. LOU: Conto 10, Minervino 6, Midolo 5, Maristany 5, Moralejo 5. Halftime: FER 31-15. Three-pointers: Osceola 2, Perez, Minervino 2, Conto 2. Rebounds: Pineda, Johnson 10. Assists: Osceola 8. Steals: Osceola, Perez 6. Blocks: Osceola, Conto.
▪ Region 4-5A semifinal — Dillard 45, American Heritage 36: Host Dillard (27-1) held off a late surge by American Heritage (17-8) to beat the Patriots in a Region 4-5A semifinal. Dillard led 30-16 at the half, but American Heritage clawed back to cut the Panthers’ lead to one with less than three minutes to play.
After making six three-pointers in the first half, Dillard failed to make a single three in the second half as American Heritage consistently drove to the hoop to get back in the game.
American Heritage started the fourth quarter on a 5-0 run and was poised to make a layup off a Dillard turnover when Patriots junior center Hayley Duren collided with a teammate at half court and remained on the ground for over 15 minutes with a head injury. Duren was taken off the court by a stretcher with 5:23 remaining.
Junior forward Jacaira Allen scored the first points of the fourth quarter for Dillard at the 2:25 mark on a contested layup to put the Panthers up 39-36. Allen finished with 11 points and a game-high seven rebounds.
A technical foul by Patriots sophomore guard Skyla Osceola to give Dillard two free throws and the ball with 30 seconds remaining sealed the win for the Panthers.
Dillard will play in the regional finals for the sixth consecutive season on Saturday against Rockledge, which beat the Panthers last year in the same round.
DILL: Paul 8, Allen 11, Perry 15, Lee 6. AH: Johnson 11, Moncrief 9, Smith 6, Willis 6. Half: 30-16 DILL. Rebounds: Allen 7. Assists: Parson 3, Willis 3, Duren 3.
▪ Region 4-6A semifinal — Pines Charter 43, South Fork 32: Guard Samantha Provenzano led the host Jaguars (17-7) with 12 points and the pressure defense forced 23 turnovers to eliminate the Bulldogs (18-8). After leading 20-16 at halftime, Pines Charter went on an 11-4 run to pull away to its then biggest lead at 31-20 and never looked back.
Cristine Alayon scored all nine of her points during the key third quarter where the Jaguars outscored the Bulldogs 16-8.
“I told them at halftime how important it is to start the second half with energy,” Pines coach Ashley Olsen said. “We hadn’t played our best to that point, but our pressure defense did a good job of making them shoot more than they really wanted to.”
Pines Charter advanced to play Norland in the regional finals Saturday.
SF (18-8): Patrice 8, Fryson 8, Duperant 7, Lindo 5, Graves 3, Masando 3, Hall 2, Jarriel 1. PPC (17-7): Provenzano 12, Alayon 9, Nelson 6, Perez 6, August 3, Cordero 2. Half: PC 20-16. Three-pointers: Provenzano 2. Rebounds: Lindo 9, Nelson 7
▪ Region 4-4A semifinal — Monsignor Pace 50, Florida Christian 41: The Spartans (18-3) were able to withstand a second-half rally by the Patriots (21-7) to advance to the Region 4-4A final at Florida Christian.
Pace led 9-4 after the the first quarter. Destiny Wilson scored 10 points in the second quarter including a corner three-pointer as time expired. The Spartans (18-3) led 27-10 at halftime. Wilson, who is also an All- Dade flag football player, finished the game with 16 points and six rebounds.
Florida Christian made a comeback in the third quarter and cut the lead to one, 35-34. Nicole Jimenez led the comeback and had a game-high with 24 points and four three-pointers.
Kevona Gay scored most of her 17 points in the fourth quarter to help fight off the Patriots rally.
Pace will play Cardinal Newman in the regional finals.
MP: Gay 17, Wilson 16, Moye 9, Peticar 4, Jenkins 4. FC: Jimenez 24, Jim 8, Irvine 2, Prinz 5, Nunez 2. Halftime: MP - 27-10. Three-Pointers: Jimenez 4, Wilson 2, Prinz. Rebounds: Moye and Jim 10. Assists: Jenkins and Jimenez 4. Steals: Jimenez 7
▪ Region 4-6A semifinal — Norland 53, Doral Academy 38: Norland (18-9) used a big second quarter to run away from host Doral Academy (21-7).
The Vikings broke open a four-point lead with a 7-0 run to begin the second quarter when Kezia Clarke came up with a steal and layup 6:34 before halftime. Norland went on to outscore the Firebirds 22-8 in the second quarter to take a 37-19 lead into the break.
The Firebirds made a late push when Paula Guerrero converted a three-point play to start an 8-0 run with 4:15 to play. Daniela Barrios’ steal and lay-in at the 2:22 mark pulled Doral Academy within 51-35, but Norland held on.
Barrios finished with 17 points, hitting five triples, and four steals. Guerrero had eight points for the Firebirds, who turned it over 27 times.
Brittney Huell had 13 points, five rebounds and four steals for the Vikings, who committed 30 turnovers. Tyana Williams had 14 points, seven rebounds and two blocks.
The Vikings outrebounded the Firebirds, 34-20.
NOR (18-9): T. Williams 14, Huell 13, Jackson 8, B. Williams 6, Baptiste 4, Barnes 4, Clarke 4. DA (21-7): Barrios 17, Guerrero 8, Ariett 6, Rondon 4, Vega 2, Llamo 1.
▪ Region 3-8A semifinal — Piper 59, Deerfield Beach 45: Piper earned a trip to its first regional final as it hung on to defeat Deerfield Beach. The Bengals (23-5) will face Boca Raton in the regional final.
“It was a total team effort tonight,” said Piper coach Max Ruback said. “We knew we were going to have a war tonight and it was a tough, physical game. I did not expect anything less.”
The Bengals were led by Gabrielle Middleton, Troi Grant and Marissa Reid who each had 9 points. Middleton also chipped in with 11 rebounds for the winners.
Victoria Hadler of Deerfield Beach led all scorers with 14 points.
“They were real physical tonight and our bigs played well and attacked the boards,” Middleton said. “Coach told us to be ready for a tough game and that is exactly what we got.”
Piper led by as many as 32 points in the third quarter, but Deerfield Beach, 19-6, came back and chipped away at the lead. A three-pointer by G’Torria Swinton cut the lead to 14, but they could pull no closer.
“They were resilient tonight,” Ruback said of the Bucks. “We just could not pull away at the end. They kept coming back.”
PIP:Middleton 9, Grant 9, Scott 6, Guerad 4, Saunders 6, Lawson 4, Moss 7, Gabriel 9, White 5. DB:Dervil 6, Stephens 5, Smith 2, Swinton 9, Bruton 4, Hadler 14, Snell 6. Three-pointers:Saunders 2, White 1, Swinton 1. Rebounds: Middleton 11.
▪ Region 4-7A Palm Beach Lakes 86, Blanche Ely 59: Ely sisters Kanesha Battle and Brianna Battle did everything within their power to keep the Tigers’ season alive. They tossed in one improbable shot after another and finished with 26 points and 21 points, respectively, but the Tigers ultimately couldn’t match the superior size and depth of Palm Beach Lakes.
PBL (25-2): Xena Dove 2, Xana Dove 9, Duporte 6, Green 14, Johnson 26, Martin 12, Thigpen 17. Ely (19-7): Kanesha Battle 26, Brianna Battle 21, Tyesha Battle 9, McGee 3.
Half: PBL 43-35. Three-pointers: Thigpen 1, Brianna Battle 2, Tyesha Battle 1, McGee 1.