Miami High’s performance Tuesday night symbolized its team.
A dominant first half in which it built a 27-point lead showed what a young squad made up primarily of five sophomores, three freshmen and two seniors can do when it is clicking.
A less crisp second half showed a team still learning how to sustain that level of play for a full game.
But the end result reflects the shape of a Stingarees squad that emerged with a 56-36 victory over Northwestern and one win away from a GMAC boys’ basketball championship.
Miami High (15-9) will take on two-time defending state champion Norland (19-5), which beat Coral Gables in the earlier semifinal, on Friday at 7 p.m. at Norland.
The Stingarees have survived a tough schedule that has included several out-of-county opponents and is the top-seed in next week’s District 14-8A playoffs.
“We haven’t played too well on the second of back-to-back games this season so we stressed to the kids to come out with intensity and get off to a fast start,” said Miami High assistant coach Brandon Williams, who filled in for head coach Marcus Carreno Tuesday while Carreno attended to his wife who gave birth earlier in the day.
Guards Anthony Concepcion and Austin James set the tone early with a barrage of three-pointers that allowed the Stingarees to open up a 25-7 lead early in the second quarter. James hit four threes and Concepcion had three. Concepcion finished with a game-high 22 points and James had 18.
Miami High led 37-10 at the half as it also took advantage of poor shooting by Northwestern both from the field and at the foul line. The Bulls recovered a bit in the second half opening the third quarter on a 9-1 surge. But led by Concepcion, Miami High did just enough to keep the lead 18 points or more the rest of the way.
“We’ve definitely overcome a lot of adversity this year whether it’s been coaching changes or kids getting in trouble,” Williams said. “But through it all these kids have kept things going and fought through it. I told them early in the season that things might be rough now, but it will get better if they keep working hard.”
Zachary Johnson led Norland (19-5) to the victory with a game-high 31 points, four assists and four steals.
Al-Wajid Aminu finished with 16 points and Imani Figuereo had 15 points including four three-pointers to keep the game close for Gables (20-5) throughout.NOR (19-5): CG (20-5): Westwood Christian 66, Boyd Anderson 65: WC (17-6):
GIRLS’ BASKETBALLDistrict 8A-15 semifinals: Coral park 52, Coral Gables 40: CP: District 3A-16 semifinals: Palmer Trinity 45, Westminster Christian 25: WC: District 4A-16 semifinals: St. Brendan 71, Keys Gate 29: SB (17-9): District 8A-15 semifinals: Lourdes 74, Southwest 21: LOU: District 4A-16 semifinals: Ransom Everglades 43, Key West 33: RE: District 2A-15 semifinals: Hebrew 34, Riveria Prep 11: HA:
The Dade County High School Soccer Coaches will hold a meeting Wednesday night at 7 p.m. at Miami Country Day School to discuss the Dade County All-Star teams, FACA All-Star selections, Players and Coaches of the Year and voting for the All-Dade soccer teams. All Dade boys’ and girls’ coaches are encouraged to attend. For more information, please contact Jeff Watson at 305-498-1263 or firstname.lastname@example.org.