On paper, the University School boys’ basketball team appeared superior over its Class 5A regional semifinal opponent.
The confidence defending Class 5A champion Calvary Christian had was the belief an upset was possible.
That was a long stretch, at best, considering University had defeated Calvary this season by an average of 18.5 points in the two previous meetings this season.
On Tuesday, the Sharks put the hammer down on their district rival once again with a 59-38 victory at University School.
The Suns (28-1), ranked No. 3 in the nation by USA Today and No. 4 by MaxPreps, will host Booker T. Washington in as regional final on Friday.
Like the district final between the two teams, it was close at the half until the Suns pulled away. On this night, University outscored Calvary 37-19 in the second half.
“We were just able to get some stops,” University coach Adrian Sosa said. “We got out in transition and defensively we really picked it up. Scottie [Barnes] was a man all over the place tonight. We expect that from him, and sometimes we forget how good he really is.”
Barnes finished with 11 points, nine in the second half that included a pair of slam dunks. Vernon Carey Jr. had a team-high 18 points for the Suns, which also included three dunks.
“We just kept fighting, because we knew if we didn’t we wouldn’t still be playing,” Carey said about the second-half surge. “Coach told us to keep pushing. We had to lock in more and stay focused because this was the third time we had played them.”
Calvary was playing the type of game it wanted in the first half and something University expected from its opponent — a low-scoring game with the Suns up 22-19 at the break.
“I felt they would try to keep the game somewhere in the 40s,” Sosa said. “I’d preferred something more like the 70s for us.”
Carey and Trey Doomes carried the scoring load in the first half with 16 of the team’s 22 points. The Sharks’ first-half lead never exceeded six points.
Calvary (15-13) was led by Solomon Uyaelunmo with 19 points.
CC (15-13): Tovar 1-0-2, Dalger 2-0-4, Uyaelunmo 5-9-19, Glenn 1-2-4, Doane 1-1-3, Garey 2-0-5, Fairweather 0-1-01. US (28-1): Alters 2-2-8, Drinnon 2-0-4, Barnes 5-1-11, Carey Jr. 6-5-18, Doomes 3-3-10, Flowers 1-0-2, Renaud 0-2-2. Acosta 1-0-2, Sanguinetti 1-0-2. 3-pointers: Alters 2, Carey Jr., Doomes, Garey. Half: US 22-19.
▪ Region 4-9A semifinal: South Miami 47, Southwest 33: A rigid defense and several offensive outbursts propelled the Cobras to a win over the Eagles on their home court in the regional semifinals.
The Cobras forced a barrage of Southwest turnovers and held the Eagles to just a single field goal in the first quarter, keeping the Eagles off balance and limiting opportunities for their sharpshooters to do damage from beyond the three-point line.
“We were relentless, getting rebounds and playing good defense,” South Miami coach Robert Doctor said. “That was huge for us tonight.”
South Miami’s defense created plenty of chances the other way, setting up two separate 13-0 runs in the first half to give the Cobras a sizable lead early on in the contest. By halftime, South Miami jumped out to a 16-point edge.
“We were preaching to the team the whole week that we need to get the lead early, control it and keep it,” Doctor said. “We wanted to make them come out and defend us instead of having to chase them.”
South Miami junior guard Toru Dean led the charge for the Cobras with a double-double, putting up a team-high 14 points with 10 rebounds.
Next up for the Cobras in the regional final on Friday night is Miramar. A win against the Patriots would send the Cobras to the state tournament for the fifth time in six years.
SM: Cerphy 11, T. Dean 14, Damon 6, Flenor 8, Menendez 6, Boncamper 2. SW: Hernandez 12, Grullon 7, Pratt 8, Murray 6. Halftime: SM 26-10. Rebounds: T. Dean 10, Flenor 16. Assists: T. Dean 5, Damon 3. Three-pointers: Pratt 3.
▪ Region 4-7A semifinal Doral Academy 51, Norland 40: Miguel Ayesa hit seven three-pointers and scored 27 points to lift Firebirds past the host Vikings (21-7).
Doral Academy (29-2) will face Northeast or Boyd Anderson in the region final on Friday.
“It was a great win after they won in our house last year,” Ayesa said. “I shoot to score and help the team win.”
Ayesa scored 10 points in the first quarter and was the only Doral player to make a field goal. He connected on a deep three-pointer as time expired. Cameron Gatlin scored all seven of Norland’s first-quarter points.
Doral outscored Norland 12-5 in the second quarter. Ayesa had 16 points at halftime as the Firebirds led 26-12.
Doral dominated in the middle of the third quarter. Ayesa hit back-to-back three-pointers that put Doral up 34-16 and the Vikings called timeout with 2:59 left in the quarter.
Coming out of the timeout, Norland went on a 13-0 run that included its first two three-pointers.
In the fourth quarter, Doral was able to hold off the run thanks to clutch free throws by Jonathan Nunez.
Curby Toussaint led Norland with 13 points.
DA: Ayesa 27, R. Perez 11, K. Perez 4, Nunez 9. NOR: Gatlin 9, Rolle 7, Moss 3, Brown 7, Henderson 3, Toussaint 13. Three-pointers: Ayesa 7, Rolle 2, Moss, R. Perez, Nunez. Rebounds: Ayesa 7. Assists: K. Perez 4. Steals: R. Perez 3. Half: DA 26-12.
▪ Region 4-5A semifinal — Booker T. Washington 57, Gulliver 56: GP: Mashburn 17, LaMonica 7, Sanders 13, Taylor 14, Ja. Howard 2, Je. Howard 3 BTW: Dixon 12, Brooks 12, Bailey 15, Noel 5, Harris 10, Thompson 2, Eason 1 Three-pointers: Ja. Howard 1, Je. Howard 1, Mashburn 3 , Taylor 1, Bailey 2, Noel 2, Dixon 2
▪ Hialeah Miami Lakes 14, Northwestern 2: WP: Karina Londono 5 IP 7Ks, Key Players: Karina Londono 2-4 2B, 3 RBIs 2 runs, Carmen Pardo 2-2 2 RBIs 2 runs. HML: 3-2.
▪ Palmetto 18, Killian 0: Top performers: Katie Burge 3-3, 2B, 3 runs, 2 RBI. Lauren Margolis, 1-1 2B, 2 runs, 3 RBI. Brittney Barczak 2-2, 3B, 2 runs, 3 RBI. PAL: 5-0.
▪ Coral Reef 11, Southridge 4: Top performers: Melissa Leon 2-2, 2B, RBI; Brianna Romagura 1-3, 2 RBI; Ana Hernandez 1-1, 2B, RBI; Sam Triana 1-2, RBI. WP; Brianna Romaguera 1-0; 2Ks. CR: 2-2.
▪ Ransom Everglades 7, Somerset 0: WP (2-0) Gaby Jadotte, shutout, 1 hit, 11 Ks. Gaby Jadotte, 2-4, RBI, Tiffany McBrayer, 3-4 3B, RBI, Vicki Muller-Kahle, 2-3, Taya Wilson, 2-3, 3B, RBI, Talia Berler 2-3, 2 runs.
▪ MAST Academy 7, Goleman 0: Anabella Camacaro, Emilia Uscocovich, Victoria Gualtieri, Fabiana Garcia and Claudia Yuste won singles matches.
▪ American Heritage 6, Coral Springs Charter 1: Ellie Ashley, Nicole Kiefer, Nataltie Block, Emily Stouch and Elena Chevrier all won in singles. Kennedi Carter and Anya Gunewardena won No. 1 doubles.
▪ Gulliver 7, Palmer Trinity 0: Sophia Fornaris, Sophia Restrepo, Chiara von Gerlach, Sasha Kolesnikova and Carolina Thompson won in singles. Fornaris/Restepo, Jessica Si/Candy Quintana won doubles.
▪ Miami Springs 7, TERRA 0: Sara Seivane, Chacadyah Lewis, Angela Moon, Ashley Moon and Katelyn Lazara all won in singles. Seivane/Angela Moon, Lewish/Ashley Moon won doubles.
▪ MAST Academy 7, Goleman 0: Eugenio Alvarez, Juan Lopez, Sevann Bignon, Marcus Bernal and Derrick Roseman won singles matches.
▪ American Heritage 6, Coral Springs Charter 1: Jake Thompson, Myles Gonzalez, Arartik Marwah, Elliot Starkman and Ben Gellar all won in singles. Thompson/Gonzalez won No. 1 dbs.
▪ Gulliver 7, Palmer Trinity 0: Christian Otero, Sebastian Quintero, Francesco DiMise, Daniel Tormo and Gaston Menendez all won in singles. Otero/William Earle won No. 1 doubles, Quintero/DiMise won No. 2 doubles.
▪ Krop d. Mater Lakes 25-19, 26-24, 25-16: Zachary Winer 12 kills, 6 digs, Benjamin Bregman 25 assists, 5 digs, Michael Kopel 5 kills, 4 digs. KR: 1-0.
▪ Hialeah Gardens d. American 25-20, 25-19, 25-17: Darien Hernandez 3 aces, 10 service points, 4 kills. Alejandro Hernández 6 aces, 15 service points, 3 kills. Darian Hernandez 5 aces, 10 service points, 5 kills
GIRLS’ WATER POLO
▪ Hialeah 17, MAST Academy 5: Paola Dominguez-Castro, 6 goals 4 assists, Ashley Luy 4 goals 5 assists, Alejandra Aranguren 3 goals, 2 assists, Claudia Briceño 2 goals 2 assists, Melanie Hernandez 2 goals 3 assists.
BOYS’ WATER POLO
▪ Hialeah 15, MAST Academy 5: David Lemus 5 goals 5 assists, Gabriel Maiz 3 goals 4 assists, Mario Valdes 12 saves 6 assists, 3 steals.