Boyd Anderson overcame a 37-point outburst by Ely star point guard Lance Tejada with a dramatic fourth-quarter rally to stun Blanche Ely 55-54 in the District 14-7A championship game at Fort Lauderdale on Saturday.
The Cobras’ Dondre Duffus lost the statistical battle to his counterpart Tejada 39-19, but it was Duffus’ two free throws with 5.9 seconds left that capped a 13-4 game closing run for the Class 7A No. 2 Cobras.
“This was big,” Duffus said. “Ely said they would beat us when it counts. We had to secure this W. But we’re going to see them again soon. It’s going to be a good game. It might be the best rivalry in Florida.”
Boyd Anderson has taken three of four matchups in arguably the state’s most riveting series and will most likely be in line for a fifth shot at their archrivals in the regional semifinals.
Until the Cobras’ dramatic comeback, Tejada was the talk of the district championship game with seven three-pointers, including one each to beat the second-quarter buzzer and third-quarter buzzer in dramatic fashion.
No. 3 Ely had a 50-42 lead with 2:11 left only to watch the Cobras come up with the biggest plays when it mattered most.
The Cobras’ 6-6 forward Nick Eubanks banked in a shot after grabbing an offensive rebound before Rodney Simeon shook off an ice-cold shooting night with a three-pointer from the left wing to cut the lead to 50-48 with 1:30 left.
Pitchon Pierre’s three-point play cut it to a 54-53 deficit before Tejada lost the ball on a hard push upcourt.
Duffus was fouled on a drive to the basket on the ensuing possession and drained the winning free throws to seal his first district title.
•Late Friday-Chaminade 12, John Carroll 2:
WP: McCabe (1-0). LP: Rosado (0-1). Top performers: Cecelia Siegel 2-3, HR, 2B, 3 RBI, 2 Runs. Dana DeFalco 2-3, 2B, 3 RBI, 2 runs. Lexi Patalano 1-1, 2B, 2 RBI. Kimberly Paulino 1-2, 2B, run, 2 RBI. Megan Sorg 2-3, 2 runs.
•Late Friday-Palmer Trinity 3, Sagemont 2:
LP: Edgar Abreau.