LAKELAND – It was a valiant run by Somerset, it just came up a bit short.
Second-ranked Fort Myers Canterbury jumped out to a 20-point halftime lead and road it to a berth in the state championship game on Monday at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland with 62-28 Class 3A semifinal win against No. 7 Somerset Prep.
“We had a tremendous season. It started off kind of slow after we had five of our players transfer out to different schools,” Somerset head coach Shantel Haye said. “No one on this current roster right now played on the varsity team last year. So for them to come together at the end of the season and get here is an accomplishment in itself.”
Canterbury will face defending 3A state champion Orlando Christian Prep for the state title at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Orlando Christian advanced after knocking off Tallahassee Florida A&M 79-32 in an earlier semifinal.
“We have to look at our mistakes and fix them because the mistakes we made tonight, we can’t make against a team like Orlando Christian Prep,” Canterbury head coach Darrin Wallace said.
“I have watched them all season. They played in the City of Palms (tournament) and we played in the City of Palms. We watched them on national TV this year and I have watched some film. We are familiar with them a little bit but we still have to get out on the court and play.”
Canterbury’s lead soared to 58-23 by the end of the third quarter and it was highlighted by powerful-and-pretty slam dunk by 6-foot-5 guard Berrick Jeanlouis with 20 seconds remaining in the quarter to bring the crowd to its feet and the scoreboard to a 22-point lead.
Canterbury, a traditional man-to-man defensive team, made a switch to zone defense for Somerset and challenged them to hit from the outside. The move paid dividends.
“We adjust to what we think the other team will struggle with. Looking at their team, they were kind of tough to scout, but from the film I watched, I wanted them to prove they could shoot. Coming to a facility like this makes it even more difficult to shoot. So my game plan was let’s see if they can make a couple of shots, and if they hit a couple, I am comfortable that we will have to go man, and we never came out of it because they were not hitting,” Wallace said.
Somerset struggled from the field and was 0 of 15 from 3-point land and shot just 50 percent from the free throw line. Somerset was led by Michael Antoine with 14 points and two rebounds.
“I think it was the atmosphere. This was the first time these guys have ever been in an arena like this. I think the atmosphere definitely got the best of us,”Haye said.
Jeanlouis led all scorers with 17 points and nine rebounds. Canterbury also picked up double-figure scoring from Simon Wilbar, who scored 10 and hauled down seven rebounds and Marlin Jordan, who scored 10.
Canterbury took control of the game in the first quarter with an early 16-7 lead.
TRACK AND FIELD
▪ Coach Sam Burley Hall of Fame Classic — Team scores — Girls: 1. Northwestern 131, 2. St. Thomas Aquinas 120, 3. American Heritage 82, 4. Northeast 49, 5. Mater Academy 36, 6. Coral Reef 32.5, 7. Windermere Prep 31.5, 8. Braddock 20, 9. Killian 18, 10. Flanagan 16; Boys: 1. St. Thomas Aquinas 90, 2. Piper 71, 3. Northwestern 62, 4. Miramar 55.5, 5. Columbus 54, 6. Belen Jesuit 43, 7. Norland 41, 8. Northeast 37, 9. Tallahassee Rickards 36.5, 10. American Heritage 33.5.
Girls’ winners — 100: Sherri-Ann Norton (AH) 11.79; 200: Jan’Taijah Ford (NE) 23.95; 400: Jermecia Brown (STA) 55.50; 800: Jinah Mickens-Malik (MA) 2:13.10; 1600: Valerie Lastra (MA) 5:00.34; 3200: Rylee Pustilnik (Spanish River) 11:00.91; 100 hurdles: Markalah Hart (NW) 14.20; 300 hurdles: Imani Christian (STA) 43.22; 400 relay: American Heritage 46.44; 800 relay: American Heritage 1:36.73; 1,600 relay: American Heritage 3:49.37; 3,200 relay: Mater Academy 9:27.36; High jump: Zatoria Thompson (STA) 5-9.75; Pole vault: Alexandra Chlumsky (Fort Myers) 10-00.75; Long jump: Eddiyah Frye (STA) 17-11; Triple jump: Rayquel Berry (CR) 38-7.5; Shot put: Alyssa Richard (NW) 42-7; Discus: Alyssa Richard (NW) 123-4.
Boys’ winners — 100: Anthony Schwartz (AH) 10.13; 200: Anthony Schwartz (AH) 20.47; 400: Tyrese Cooper (NOR) 46.40; 800: Winston Quinn (NW) 1:55.31; 1,600: Joshua Collins (Bel) 4:20.04; 3,200: Cavan Wilson (CG) 9:20.06; 110 hurdles: Jermaine Byrd (STA) 13.99; 300 hurdles: Thomas Burns (NW) 36.97; 400 relay: Northwestern 41.48; 800 relay: Columbus 1:25.73; 1,600 relay: Piper 3:17.51; 3,200 relay: Piper 7:51.01; High jump: Nadab Joseph (NOR) 6-8; Pole vault: Matthew Farrell (STA) 12-0; Long jump: Donte Gosier (NE) 21-9.5; Triple jump: Osaji Skyers (Mir) 45-8; Shot put: Dejmi Dumervil Jean (STA) 49-11.25; Discus: Jacob Lemon (Fort Myers) 172-1.