Coral Springs boys’ basketball a win away from reaching state finals

02/20/2014 12:01 AM

09/08/2014 7:05 PM

If you never heard of Myron Dewar, Jeff Altidort, Garven Charles and Jonas Fils in basketball discussions around the water cooler, take a number.

All this band of no-names have done is propel perennial cellar dweller Coral Springs (20-6) on an improbable run to its first District title and a victory away from the boys’ state final four.

While preseason projections had Deerfield Beach the easy pick for the District 11-8A title and Coral Springs finishing third at best, first year coach Devin Barta, who played for the Colts, saw a team poised to shake up the status quo.

“This is my alma mater so this means everything to me,’’ Barta said. “When I took over the team I started telling people I felt we can get through Deerfield Beach and take this region. People looked at me like I had six heads. I felt if you’re not going to have the cream of the crop player you have to develop your talent in house. I think we can compete with anybody in the state.”

The No. 10 Colts stand a road victory against unranked John I. Leonard (15-11) in the Class 8A regional finals on Saturday from completing a turnaround from 8-14 and second to last in the District to an FHSAA state final four debut.

In this history-making season, the Colts have debunked the theory that a high profile player is a prequisite for a state contender.

Garvin Charles (10.3 ppg, 4.5 rpg), the vocal leader of the Colts’ big four with Myron Dewar (21 ppg), Jeff Altidort (10 ppg, 5.5 apg) and Jonado Fils (12 ppg, 10 rpg) said not having a marquee name on the roster has brought an “Us against the world” mantra to the Colts' locker room.

“We come out with a chip on our shoulders because don’t get the respect that most teams get,’’ Charles said. “It’s great we have put individual goals aside. We went from being a team on the schedule seen as an easy win to one you have to look out for. It’s pretty scary right now.”

The Colts have moved into the high rent district behind a senior backcourt of Altidort and Charles and rising sophomore frontcourt tandem of 6-2 Dewar and 6-5 Fils.

Everything starts with Dewar, whose potent inside-outside game sets the tone offensively.

Barta refers to Dewar as a “matchup nightmare” with his ability to score over smaller defenders in the post and beat bigger players off the dribble. If the Colts can get get Dewar going early and take the home crowd out of the game, these “No-name” Colts and a first-year coach who challenged them to dream big could be packing for Lakeland by Sunday.

“Last year we were a team that had our heads down,” Fils said. “This year we said we’re not taking it. We had a lot of doubters. We wanted to make a statement. Everybody around said we wouldn’t make it anywhere. Well, we put in blood, sweat and tears. Coral Springs basketball. It’s a great thing to say now.”

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