Cypress Bay was not used to playing in the spotlight, entering the BCAA Big 8 quarterfinals against Northeast.
After about four minutes of dreadful basketball by both teams, the Lightning finally figured it out en route to a 59-36 win Thursday over a Hurricanes team that had only five players dress.
The spotlight will only get brighter Friday as the Lightning plays the team that has made a living in the BCAA Big 8 Championship game in defending champion, Dillard. The Panthers have been to the finals of the Big 8 Tournament six of the past seven years, having won five titles.
“We knew they were down and hurt, but we looked so nervous. We’ve never been in this stage ever. We were playing to not lose, and not to win,” Cypress Bay coach Scott Selvidge said.
The Hurricanes (12-7) came in having won their past four with only five players. They started the season with nine, but have lost four players to injury. Coach Zach Gillion expects two to return to the team on Monday giving them seven players going into the district tournament.
It was a slow beginning for both teams, but the Lightning (19-1) finally took control late in the first quarter. After leading 8-4 late in the quarter, Cypress Bay went on a 22-4 run to close the half and led 30-8 at the break.
Cypress Bay was led by Oriana Rojas, who finished with 16 points, and Elizabeth Wright, who pitched in 16 of her own.
Rojas scored ten of her points in the first quarter when the rest of her teammates could not make a shot. The Lightning led 12-4 at the end of one before the rest of the team joined her.
Ashley Saintigene had 12 points for Northeast.
What awaits Cypress Bay is the four-time defending state champion in Dillard. The Lightning is hoping that games against Coconut Creek, Fort Lauderdale and Flanagan have prepared them for the Panthers.
“We have to get ready for a very good Dillard team. We played a really challenging schedule. We are the underdog (tonight) and we’ll see what happens,” Selvidge said.
BOYS’ BASKETBALLLate Wednesday — Boyd Anderson 65, Blanche Ely 57: BE:
BOYS’ SOCCERDistrict 15-2A quarterfinal: Ransom Everglades 3, LaSalle 1.
GIRLS’ SOCCERRegion 4-2A quarterfinal: MAST Academy 2, Coral Shores 1: Region 4-4A quarterfinal: Miami Springs 4, South Broward 1. Region 4-5A quarterfinal: St. Thomas Aquinas 8, Flanagan 0. Region 3-5A quarterfinal: Douglas 1, Park Vista 0.
WRESTLINGLate Wednesday — Cooper City 48, Cypress Bay 27: Late Wednesday — Everglades 55, Cooper City 21:
Princeton Christian vs. Riviera Prep (Riviera Prep), 4:30
Redland Christian vs. Pinecrest Prep (Pinecrest Prep), 6:30
Mater Lakes vs. Dade Christian (DC), 7:00
Monsignor Pace vs. Chaminade-Madonna (CMP), 7:00
Varela vs. Sunset (SUN), 7:30
Archbishop Carroll vs. Westwood Christian (WWC), 7:30
Braddock vs. Coral Park (CP), 7:30
Miami Central vs. Booker T. Washington (BTW), 7:30
Archbishop Curley vs. Miami Country Day (MCD), 7:30
TERRA vs. Doral Academy (DRL), 7:30
Homestead vs. Mater Academy Charter (MATER), 7:30
Champagnat vs. Coral Reef (CR), 7:30
Jackson vs. Belen Jesuit (BEL), 7:30
LaSalle vs. Edison (ED), 7:30
Northwestern vs. Carol City (CC), 7:30
Ferguson vs. Coral Gables (CG), 7:30
Krop vs. Westland Hialeah (Westland Hialeah), 7:30
Columbus vs. Southwest (SW), 7:30
Goleman vs. Hialeah-Miami Lakes (HML), 7:30
North Miami vs. North Miami Beach (NMB), 7:30
Miramar vs. Hialeah Gardens (Hialeah Gardens), 7:30
SLAM Charter vs. St. Brendan (STB), 8:00
Colonial vs. Princeton Christian, 5:00
Redland Christian vs. Pinecrest Prep, 5:00
Hialeah Educational Academy vs. Archemedian (Archemedian), 6:00
Doral Academy vs. St. Brendan (STB), 6:30
Lourdes vs. Monsignor Pace (MSP), 7:30