High School Sports

Teamwork of Jose Morales and Maverick Rowan helps lead Cardinal Gibbons boys’ basketball to Lakeland

Maverick Rowan of Cardinal Gibbons (right) battles for possession with Geremy Taylor of Ely High.
Maverick Rowan of Cardinal Gibbons (right) battles for possession with Geremy Taylor of Ely High. Sun-Sentinel

For Cardinal Gibbons to evolve into a juggernaut and a clear cut favorite to win the Class 5A state title, it needed star point guard Jose Morales to share the starring role he held exclusively for three seasons with hot shot 6-7 transfer Maverick Rowan.

With all the hype surrounding Rowan’s arrival from Lincoln Park in Pennsylvania, where he averaged 26.3 points in leading the Leopards to their first state title, came concerns Rowan’s reputation as a high volume shooter would diminish scoring opportunities for returning players.

However, once Morales convinced his teammates Rowan’s hard-nosed play and high basketball IQ would give Gibbons its best chance to win a championship, the Chiefs welcomed Rowan into the fold.

“Maverick wasn’t the most well liked player when he first came in,” Morales said. “Some of the other guys might not have liked the amount of shots he was taking. That man is not shy about putting the ball in the air. But his shots were going in and we started winning games. Why try to change it?

The pass-first Morales and Rowan have formed arguably the toughest one-two punch in Florida and will lead Gibbons (32-1, No. 13 USA Today Super 25) against St. Petersburg Gibbs (21-8) in the Class 5A semifinal at the Lakeland Center on Thursday.

All the attention focused on stopping Rowan opened the floor for Morales to have a career-scoring year (averaging 17.5 points and 9.5 assists per game). Richard McIntosh, Melvin Brooks, Greg Kacprzak and 6-8 sophomore Jason Strong provided timely contributions.

In Rowan, Morales discovered a kindred competitive spirit who took the game seriously.

“Maverick and I are two players not afraid to compete and go at anyone,” Morales said. “We want the ball in big moments. Either one of us can hit the big shots. Either of us can kill a team.”

Cardinal Gibbons steamrolled through a tough schedule, including a surprising 4-0 season sweep of perennial state power Dillard, which many predicted would give Gibbons a run. The Chiefs’ lone loss came to unbeaten Blanche Ely in a hard-fought BCAA Big 8 championship game.

There were questions surrounding Rowan’s ability to maintain his prolific scoring moving from Class 1A in Pennsylvania to what many believe is a more athletic and physical style play in 5A in Florida.

Rowan, however, has proved as good as advertised — if not better.

Despite a variety of junk defenses designed to slow him down, Rowan has averaged 27 points while showing a killer instinct.

Rowan credits high competitive streak to growing up with his father, Ronald Rowan, a former NBA player.

“I didn’t come all the way down here to lose,” Rowan said. “My dad has pushed me my whole life to never back down from anything. He said you are either a sheep or wolf on the court. I just try to be the wolf. I am expecting us to win it all. I don’t want anything less than that.”

GIRLS’ BASKETBALL

The Florida Association of Basketball Coaches announced its girls’ basketball players and coaches of the year Wednesday.

Two South Florida players – Miami High’s Beatrice Mompremier and Dillard’s Jacaira Allen - earned honors.

Mompremier, a 6-4 senior center, was the FABC Class 8A Player of the Year after leading Miami High to its second consecutive state title. Mompremier, a McDonald’s All-American and Baylor University signee, averaged 26.3 points and 13.3 rebounds per game.

Allen was named the Class 5A Player of the Year after leading Dillard to another state championship. Allen, a 5-11 junior forward, averaged 15 points and 12 rebounds per game.

BASEBALL

▪ Hialeah 7, Dr. Krop 2

DK: 010-001-0 -- -- 2-3-4

Hia: 105-001-x -- -- 7-9-1

WP: Erislandy Rivas (1-1). Rivas 6 IP, 13 K; Daniel Nieto 3-4, 2B, 2 RBI; Adrian Gomez 2-4, 2 2B, RBI. Hia 1-4-1.

▪ Brito 10, iMater 5

iM: 301-000-1 -- -- 5-6-1

Br: 100-504-x -- -- 10-13-1

WP: Christian Alvarez (1-0). Robert Hernandez 3-3, 2 RS; Richard Nunez 2-3, RBI, 2B; Onelio Perdomo 2-4, 2 RS, RBI, 3B; Luis Nieves 2-4, RBI, 3 RS.

▪ Palmer Trinity 14, Curley 1: Miller HR, 2 RBI; Steinman 3B, RBI; Gravier 1-1.

SOFTBALL

▪ Coral Gables 17, Varela 0

CG: 446-3 -- -- 17-8-0

Var: 000-0 -- -- 0-0-3

WP: Lauren Perna (2-1). Perna: 0 H, 9 K, 2 RBI; Ashley Knapp: 1-2, 3B, RBI, 2 SB. CG 5-1.

▪ Monarch 11, Western 4

Mon: 090-001-1 -- -- 11-15-3

West: 100-001-2 -- -- 4-5-1

WP: Emily Estroff (9-1). Estroff 3-5; Andrea Ordonez 3-3; Stefany Collins HR, 2 RBI. Mon 10-1.

▪ Gulliver 17, American 6

Am: 211-020 -- -- 6-3-3

Gul: 1(10)0-34x -- -- 17-20-3

WP: Destyn Jones (2-0). Mekayla Frazier 4-4, HR, 3 2B, 6 RBI; Tori Rios 3-3, HR, 3 RBI; Gul 3-0

▪ Barbara Goleman 23, Sunset 8

Sun: 000-44 -- 8-1-9

Gol: 670-(10)x -- -- 23-11-3

WP: Natalie Costero (9-0). Natalie Costero 3-4, 4 RBI; Emily Bacallao 4-4, 4 RBI, HR; Jessi Costero 4-4, 3 RBI. Gol 9-0.

▪ Miami Country Day 18, Curley 5

Cur: 000-50 -- -- 5-4-9

MCD: 950-4x -- -- 18-11-2

WP: Taylor Sennett (2-1). Elizabeth Finny 2B, RBI, 2 RS; Alicia Cherem 2 RBI, RS; Mica Mlikota 2 RBI, 2 RS. MCD 2-1.

▪ South Dade 15, Varela 0

SD: 681 -- -- 15-9-0

Var: 000 -- -- 0-0-0

WP: Casandra Torres (1-1). Theiamaris Ramerez 3-3 2B, 3B 5 RBI; Ami Williams 2-2, 2 RBI, RS; Torres 4 K. SD 2-4.

▪ Miami Springs 15, Carol City 0: Emily Santos 3 IP, 8K; Priscilla Moliner 3-3, 2 RBI; Tiffany Turman 3-3, 3 RBI; Brianna Gomez, 2-3, 2 RBI; Emily Santos HR, 2 RBI.

▪ Miami Springs 16, Miami Beach 0: Emily Santos 4 IP, 5k; Emily Santos 3-3, HR, 5 RBI; Jasmine Echeveria 2-3, HR, 2 RBI; Kristen Medina 3-3, RBI.

▪ Braddock 7, Lourdes 5: Genesis Brenes 7 K; Eileen Bermudez 2-3; Alyssa Flores 1-3, 2 RBI. Brad 4-2-1.

▪ Hialeah Gardens 7, Southridge 1: Alexa Lavernia HR; Ivon Alvarez 3-3.

Boys’ tennis

▪ Pine Crest 4, American Heritage-Delray 3: No. 1 singles: Steven Sun (AHD) d. Sam Dern 8-3; 2: Chris Kotite (PC) d. Hunter Robbins 8-2; 3: Parsa Hoghooghi (PC) d. Pascal Spork 8-1; 4: Jonah Miskel (PC) d. Neil Sharma 8-3; 5: Robert Hagen (AHD) d. Tyler Shevin 9-8 (13-11); No. 1 doubles: Sun/Robbins (AHD) d. Dern/Hoghooghi 8-4; 2: Sharma/Spork (PC) d. Kotite/Ercan 8-4.

▪ Doctors Charter 6, SLAM 1: Zurita d. Padilla 8-0; Itkoff d. Yin 8-3. DC 2-1.

▪ Cardinal Gibbons 6, Dillard 1: No. 1 singles: Piedra (CG) d. Jackson 8-1; 2: Vaca (CG) d. Martin 8-1; 3: Lopez (CG) d. Pierre-Louis 8-1; 4: Petratos (CG) d. Joseph 8-6; 5: Fleurimond (Dil) d. Ferreria 8-2; No. 1 doubles: Vaca/Piedra (CG) d. Jackson/Martin 8-0; Lopez/Petratos (CG) d. Joseph/Austin 8-3.

▪ Ransom Everglades 5, Sagemont 2: 2: Samuel Rubell 9-8; 3: Spencer Goldsmith 8-0; 3: Rowan Daiksel 8-2. RE 4-1.

▪ Miami Country Day 7, Archbishop Curley 0: Milan Bass 8-0; Alex Cohan 8-0; Evan Meiselman 8-0.

▪ Miami Springs 6, Carol City 1: David Chavez 8-0; Adrian Perez 8-3; Brent Cates 8-0.

Girls’ tennis

▪ American Heritage-Delray 5, Pine Crest 2: No. 1 singles: Angelica Blake (AHD) d. Stephanie Taylor 8-1; 4: Kaely Malik (PC) d. Taylor Kogen 8-4; 5: Carly Feldman (PC) d. Nina Slager 8-0.

▪ Cardinal Gibbons 7, Douglas 0: No. 1 singles: N.Geraghty d. Wilson 8-0; 2: B.Geraghty d. Austin 8-0; 3: S.Harmon d. Pina 8-0; 4: Watson d. Latamore 8-0; 5: Hammer d. Bennett 8-0; No. 1 doubles: Giaquinto/ Watson d. Wilson/Austin 8-0; Blaison/ B.Gerachty d. Larkins/Butler 8-1.

▪ Ransom Everglades 4, Sagemont 3: No. 1 singles: Daniela Lopez 8-1; 2: Vivien Fernandez 9-7; 3: Marina Pataro 8-1. RE 4-0.

▪ SLAM 7, Doctors Charter 0: Giani d. Florindez 9-7; Varela d. Kretzschmar 8-0. DC 0-2.

▪ Miami Springs 7, Carol City 0: Angela Moon 8-0; Erica Bradley 8-3; Natessa Perera 8-0; Ashley Lycke 8-3; Kelly Alvarez 8-5; Perera/Alvarez 8–6; Lycke/Christina San Martin 8-1.

▪ Carrollton 5, Westminster Christian 2: Isabella Leano 8-0; Alexis Vidaurretta 8-1; Sabrina Souza 8-4.

▪ Miami Country Day 7, Archbishop Curley 0: Megan Tate 8-1; Sasha Bass 8-0; Celina Lindeman 8-0.

boys’ lacrosse

▪ Gulliver 10, American Heritage-Delray 4: Lucas Rego 14 saves; Trevor Pelletier 4 goals, 2 assists; C.J. Hassan 2 goals; Walker Gautier goal, 2 assists. Gul 5-0.

▪ Ransom Everglades 7, Miami Country Day 6: Alex Fuster and Reece Ritzenthaler 2 goals each; Stephen Stricker 18 saves. RE 3-1.

▪ Coral Springs Charter 12, St. Brendan 11: Carlos Clavijo (stB) 8 goals, 2 assists; Brian Serein (StB) 2 goals.

girls’ lacrosse

▪ Palmetto 8, Palmer Trinity 7: Hannah Vaccaro, Bianca Barrera and Lexie Rubin 2 goals each; Shelby Reamer and Ashlynn Dobbs goal each.

BOYS’ WATER POLO

▪ Mourning 14, Miami Springs 11: Francisco Randazzo 11 blocks; Daniel Scotese 4 goals; Gabriel Kirel 3 goals.

GIRLS’ WATER POLO

▪ Mourning 14, Miami Springs 3: Mariana Lombello 4 goals, 2 assists; Juliana Iglesias 3 goals.

Thursday’s schedule

Baseball

Miami Country Day at Archbishop Carroll, 3:30

Miami High at Dr. Krop, 3:30

Hialeah Gardens at North Miami (Pepper), 3:30

Jackson at Mater Academy, 3:30

Westland at Ferguson, 3:30

Carol City at Norland, 3:30

TERRA at Homestead, 3:30

Florida Christian at Miami Springs, 3:30

Doral at Belen, 3:30

Varela at Coral Reef, 3:30

Ely at Coconut Creek, 3:45

Coral Glades at Douglas, 3:45

St. Thomas Aquinas at Hollywood Hills, 3:45

Cooper City at South Plantation, 3:45

West Broward at Western, 6:30

Palmetto at Southridge, 6:30

Coral Springs at Deerfield Beach, 6:45

Cypress Bay at Piper, 7

Hialeah v Miami Beach (Flamingo), 7

Sunset at South Dade, 7

Softball

Varela at Coral Reef, 3:30

Miami Beach at Hialeah, 3:30

North Miami at Hialeah Gardens, 3:30

Norland at Mater Academy, 3:30

Coral Park at Ferguson, 3:30

Homestead at Jackson, 3:30

Miami Senior at Dr. Krop, 3:30

Palmetto at Southridge, 4

Southwest at Lourdes, 4

Cardinal Gibbons at Douglas, 4

Miramar at Hallandale, 4

Cypress Bay at Piper, 4

Coral Glades at Pompano Beach, 4

Cooper City v South Plantation (Pop Travers), 4

Plantation at Stranahan, 4

McArthur at West Broward, 4

St. Thomas Aquinas at Naples, 6

Deerfield Beach at Nova, 6:30

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