High School Sports

Landmark day for Norland, Ely, Gibbons

Norland's Lawton Williams head coach offers advice during a time out against Gainesville during the FHSAA Boys 6A Basketball championship Saturday February 28, 2015 in Lakeland, FL.
Norland's Lawton Williams head coach offers advice during a time out against Gainesville during the FHSAA Boys 6A Basketball championship Saturday February 28, 2015 in Lakeland, FL. Cindy Skop

Miami Norland, Pompano Beach Blanche Ely and Fort Lauderdale Cardinal Gibbons each achieved milestones Saturday at the boys’ basketball state championships at The Lakeland Center.

Norland became the first Miami-Dade County school to win four consecutive state titles as the Vikings won their sixth in the span of a decade with a 53-46 win over Gainesville in the Class 6A final.

Blanche Ely, ranked No. 6 in the nation by USA Today, wrapped up the first perfect season by a Broward County public school by beating Kissimmee Osceola 72-60 in the Class 7A final and finishing with a 28-0 record.

And Cardinal Gibbons, ranked No.13 nationally by USA Today, finished its season 32-1, capping it with a 74-58 win over Tallahassee Rickards in the Class 5A final. Gibbons, a perennial state champion in other sports such as volleyball and wrestling, won its first state championship in basketball.

A little more history was made on the coaching front.

With their teams’ respective wins, Norland coach Lawton Williams III and Blanche Ely coach Melvin Randall each have six state titles during their illustrious coaching careers.

With six state titles each, Williams and Randall are now tied for the most state titles for any coach in state history.

Randall won his fourth at Blanche Ely and has two from a prior coaching stint at Deerfield Beach.

Williams III has the most of any coach in Dade history, surpassing legendary Miami High coaches Vince Schaeffer and Shakey Rodriguez.

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