Miami High players watched film Saturday of the 2005 Stingarees’ girls’ basketball team’s state championship win over Deerfield Beach that took three overtimes to complete.
A few hours later, this year’s Miami High squad was making its own instant classic.
After nearly two intense and emotional hours of basketball, Miami High emerged with another memorable triple-overtime win as it edged rival Ferguson 63-61 in the Region 4-8A final to clinch its third consecutive trip to state.
The Stingarees (27-3), the reigning Class 8A state champions, will play Boca Raton on Friday in a state semifinal at either 10 or 11:30 a.m. at The Lakeland Center.
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“The irony of us picking today of all days to show them that highlight tape of the 2005 game and then we go three OTs,” Miami High coach Sam Baumgarten said. “Even the finish was almost the same. We needed a win like this going forward.”
Senior center and Baylor signee Beatrice Mompremier, who shook off double and triple teams in the paint throughout the game, grabbed a loose ball in the paint and scored the go-ahead layup with six seconds remaining. On the ensuing possession, Andrisia Sweeting stole the ball and dribbled out the remaining time.
Mompremier led the way statistically as well with 31 points, 17 rebounds and four blocks. She also made two huge free throws to send the game to overtime at 51-all after only making 3 of 6 earlier in the game.
“My nerves are still going crazy,” Mompremier said. “I was starting to cry almost on the court. I was just like these shots have to go in.”
But senior guard Annelisse Vargas made a pair of clutch shots in the overtime periods and finished with nine points and six assists. Sweeting had five assists and gave Miami High its first lead at 54-53 at the start of the second overtime.
“Coach [Baumgarten] always shows a lot of faith in me and I thank him for that,” Vargas said. “This is just an amazing feeling to win a game like this.”
Several role players came up huge for Ferguson (25-5), which lost to Miami High in the regional finals for the second time in a row after having never advanced that far prior to those seasons.
Ferguson senior forward Kamaria Johnson, and guards Annie Osceola and Gio Perez all progressively fouled out as the Falcons were left without their top three players by the third overtime period.
Osceola scored all 19 of her points in the first half. Perez had 13 points, six assists and five steals but fouled out in the second overtime.
MHS (27-3): Angulo 9, Sweeting 3, Vargas 9, Paschal 1, Dukes 10, Mompremier 31. FER (25-5): Osceola 19, Perez 13, Justiniano 2, Buitrago 6, Rodriguez 6, Pineda 15. Fouled out: Paschal, Dukes, Perez, Johnson, Osceola. Three-pointers: Angulo 2, Vargas, Osceola 2, Perez, Buitrago 2, Pineda. Rebounds: Mompremier 17. Assists: Perez, Vargas 6. Steals: Perez 3.
▪ Region 4-7A final — Palm Beach Lakes 69, Nova 58:Having suffered a two-point upset loss in the same gym a year ago in the same round, the Titans were hoping for a different outcome on Saturday night when they traveled to Palm Beach Lakes.
And for one half, things looked great as Nova took a 32-27 lead at halftimr over the Rams. Then came a disastrous third quarter that would ultimately lead to the end of Nova’s season.
Led by the nearly unstoppable combination of Jasmyne Martin and Kayla Thigpen, Lakes went on a 23-8 third quarter rampage and never looked back for its second trip in a row to the final four in Lakeland.
“We just didn’t come out quite ready in the third quarter,” said Nova coach Jason Hively, whose team finished 22-6. “Lakes had been having big third quarters lately and, unfortunately, we got outside of ourselves, tried to do too much and didn’t play within ourself.”
Martin (24) and Thigpen (22) combined for 46 of Lakes’ 69 points, and Thigpen proved to be the third-quarter spark as she scored the first seven points of the quarter to give Lakes (26-2) a 34-32 advantage, a lead it would not relinquish.
“I think we might’ve laid back a little because we had the lead at halftime and just got out of our game and it just snowballed from there,” said senior Kianni Lurry who led the way for the Titans with 21 points. “I’m just really disappointed beccause I didn’t think this would be my last high school game. I really thought we’d make history this year but it is what it is I guess.”
Nova (22-6): Lurry 21, Roberts 15, L. Gutierrez 6, Corazza 6, K. Cowart 4, E. Gutierrez 4, R. Cowart 2. PBL (26-2): Martin 24, Thigpen 22, Johnson 12, Dove 7, Duarte 2, Green 2. Three-pointers: Martin 3, Lurry 2, Roberts 2, Johnson. Half: NOV 32-27.
▪ Region 4-6A final — Miami Norland 52, Pembroke Pines Charter 42: Miami Norland is going to Lakeland for the fourth consecutive season.
The Vikings (19-9) went on an 18-2 run from the end of the first half to early in the third quarter to key a victory over Pembroke Pines Charter at home.
Although Norland is a mainstay in the final four, there was a point this season where coach Carla Harris-Curry doubted her young team could reach this point.
“I certainly did think early in the season, Wow, I don’t think we’re going to make it,’” Harris-Curry said. “Our advantage 99 percent of the time is with our bigs, and we were taking shots before our bigs touched the ball. Now we understand; let’s get it inside out.”
There was no issue working it inside once Norland shook off a rocky start. Center Tyana Williams finished with 14 points, 17 rebounds and four blocks.
Norland will face Naples Barron Collier in state semifinals on Friday in Lakeland.
Brittney Huell scored 11 points for the Vikings, and senior Janet Harrison, in her first back from offseason ACL surgery, added eight off the bench.
Pines Charter (17-8) led by as many as nine in the first half before Norland went on the decisive run.
Samantha Provenzano and Christine Alayon both finished with 15 for the Jaguars, who won their first district title this season and advanced as far as they ever have in regionals.
NOR: T. Williams 14, Harrison 8, Huell 11, B. Williams 4, Clarke 4, Bostic 7, Barnes 2, Stevens 2. PPC: Provenzano 15, Alayon 15, Lindo 4, Nelson 3, Perez 3, August 2. Halftime: 19-19. Three-pointers: Alayon 3, Perez, Harrison 2, Huell. Rebounds: T. Williams 17. Assists: Clarke 5. Steals: Clarke 4. Blocks: T. Williams 4.