High School Sports

Westminster Christian wins volleyball tourney; American blanks Hialeah

Having waded through numerous out-of-town teams in a 16-team tournament, Miami-Dade and Broward counties were well represented Saturday night when two of the premier private school volleyball programs squared off in the Gold Division championship game of the Smoothie King Invitational at Ransom Everglades.

And when it was over, Westminster Christian emerged the winner as the Warriors defeated Cardinal Gibbons 25-23, 23-25, 15-8 in the best-of-three final.

The Warriors (19-6) looked like they would close the deal in straight sets as they led 20-16 in the second set, but then the Chiefs (19-6) went on a 9-3 run to force a third and deciding set. Westminster jumped out to a 10-2 lead in the third set and coasted home to take the big trophy.

“I think maybe we just lost our focus at one point so it was just a matter of regathering ourselves and refocusing, and we were OK after that,” said Westminster outside hitter Nikkia Benitez, who had 11 kills and five digs and was voted the tournament MVP. “This was important because this was a quality tournament against quality competition, and we’re anxious to get back to state this year and these are the type of teams you’re going to have to beat to get there.”

Westminster’s district playoffs are next week, and even though the Warriors are the top seed, the likes of Ransom Everglades and Gulliver will make it a tough road as they will be looking for their fifth consecutive trip to state.

“It’s a long, tough road ahead, but winning this tournament against this competition is big plus moving forward,” Westminster coach Julie Doan said.

Isabella Hernandez (six kills, 4 digs, 14 service points) and Prissy Hernandez (eight kills, 11 digs) also contributed for Westminster. Daniella Molinari (eight kills, four assists) and Sarah Martin (eight kills, 10 assists) led Gibbons.

Two other South Florida teams emerged victorious in their respective divisions, as Fort Lauderdale Calvary Christian captured the Silver Division with a straight-set win over Naples Seacrest Country Day, and Carrollton won the Copper Division by beating Naples.

▪ Smoothie King Invitational — Gold Bracket Final: Westminster Christian d. Cardinal Gibbons (25-23, 23-25, 15-8): Daniella Molinari 8 kills, 3 blocks, 5 digs, 4 assists, 7 points. CG 19-6.

▪ Smoothie King Invitational — Gold Bracket Semifinal: Cardinal Gibbons d. Apopka (21-25, 25-22, 15-11): Sarah Martin 7 kills, 5 blocks, 2 digs, 4 assists, 6 points, 3 aces.

▪ Smoothie King Invitational — Carrollton d. Coral Reef (19-25. 25-19. 15-13): Andy Rodriguez 4 kills, ace. Gabreila Socarras 6 kills.

▪ Smoothie King Invitational — Carrollton d. Chaminade Madonna (25-14. 25-20): Gabriela Socarras 8 kills. Lucy Hornbacher 6 kills, ace.

▪ Smoothie King Invitational — Carrollton d. Naples (25-10, 25-20): Paola Perez 4 kills, 10 digs. Lucy Hornbacher 5 kills. CAR 11-14.

▪ Late Friday, Smoothie King Invitational —Westminster d. Seacrest Country Day (25-14, 25-11): Nikkia Benitez 7 kills, 10 digs. Isabella Hernandez 5 kills, 5 digs, 9 points. Ingrid Savola 10 asst, 8 points, 3 aces. Sophia Poveda 7 digs, 7 points, 4 kills. WCS 17-6.

▪ Late Friday, Smoothie King Invitational —Westminster d. Chaminade (25-11, 25-23): Nikkia Benitez 14kills, 9 digs. Isabella Hernandez 15 points, 5 aces, 5 digs. Connor Crotty 6 points, 6 assists. Priscilla Hernandez 12 kills, 5 digs, 12 points. WC 16-6.

▪ Late Friday, Smoothie King Invitational — Westminster Christian d. Westminster Academy (27-25, 23-25, 15-11): Isabella Hernandez 10 kills, 4 digs, 14 points. Gabrielle Miller 10 kills. Priscilla Hernandez 7 kills, 5 digs, 11 points. Quinn Blanco 24 away, 4 digs, 10 points. WC 15-6.

▪ Late Thursday — St Brendan d. Lourdes (22-25, 25-18, 24-26, 25-23, 16-14): Sophie Sires 43 assists, 8 digs, 3 aces. Caro Caram 13 kills, 15 digs, 4 aces. Marcie Fernandez 14 kills, 4 blocks, 5 digs. Natalie Perez 12 kills, 5 blocks, 2 aces. Nikki Garcia 24 digs, 3 aces. SB 18-7.

FOOTBALL

▪ American 33, Hialeah 0: Punches were thrown and a fight between American and Hialeah nearly broke out after the first play from scrimmage at Milander Park.

After the officials settled the six flags and four ejections and brought both teams to midfield to insist the rivals play a clean game, American provided all the fight on the field.

Behind a shutout from the defense, the Patriots (5-2, 4-0 District 13-8A) won a contentious, penalty-ridden battle of teams unbeaten in the district.

American routs Hialeah 33-0 at Milander Park on Oct. 17, 2015.

Up 9-0 at halftime, a dump-off pass to Anthony White Jr. in the third quarter set up a Craig Cooper fourth-down 2-yard touchdown run to put American up by 15. The Patriots then put it away early in the fourth with a Steve Hollingsworth back shoulder 13-yard touchdown pass to DeAndre Conley.

American scored twice in the first half off punt miscues by Hialeah (3-4, 2-1). First a snap over the punter’s head resulted in a safety, and Dawun Hylton later blockd a punt that resulted in a recovery and touchdown by Khalil Love.

After the first play, the head official announced that Hialeah’s Christner Valembrun and American’s Guillermo Bolanos and American’s Josh Dinson, Enos Lewis and Dennis Law were ejected. Law’s ejection was rescinded and downgraded to a personal-foul penalty, and he returned.

After the game, American coach Anthony White said the players were not ejected, which would warrant an ensuing suspension, but instead removed from the game by their coaches.

Coaches instructed their players not to shake hands after the game that saw the teams combine for 31 penalties for 337 yards.

DAVID FURONES

▪ Braddock 35, Ferguson 28: With the score tied in the fourth quarter, Alex Victor looked at his quarterback in the huddle and said: “just throw it as far as you can and I’ll go get it.”

Victor came through, catching a 41-yard touchdown from Angel Alvarez with 26 seconds remaining in Braddock’s win at Tropical Park.

“They called the play,” Victor said. “I told him: ‘I can beat him.’ ”

Alvarez, who completed 21 of 29 passes for 300 yards and four touchdowns, threw three fourth-quarter scores after the Bulldogs (4-3, 2-1 in District 15-8A) faced a 21-0 deficit in the second quarter.

“Coaches are preaching it every day: It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish,” Alvarez said. “They came out fighting hard, but at the end we wanted it more.”

Quarterback Cristian Martinez rushed for 109 yards and had a passing score in the loss for Ferguson (0-7, 0-3).

ALEX BUTLER

FER

BRA

First downs

17

21

Rushes-yards

39-305

32-117

Passing yards

133

300

Passes

7-15-1

21-29-0

Punts

Fumbles-lost

1-1

3-1

Penalties-yards

7-65

5-35

Field goals-att

0-1

0-0

FER

14

7

0

7--28

BRA

0

7

7

21--35

SCORING SUMMARY

FER - Nick Alvarez 59 pass from Cristian Martinez (Blanco kick)

FER -Anthony Mosocoso 3 run (Blanco kick)

FER -Raymon Gonzalez 10 run (Blanco kick)

BRA - Robert Chavez 1 run (Mederos kick)

BRA -Robert Grant 7 pass from Angel Alvarez (Mederos kick)

FER -Ivan Ramirez 9 run (Blanco kick)

BRA -Pablo Castellanos 23 pass from Alvarez (Mederos kick)

BRA -Robert Grant 12 pass from Alvarez (Mederos kick)

BRA -Alex Victor 41 pass from Alvarez (Mederos kick)

Individual Statistics

Rushing (att-yds) -- FER: Wood 1-6, Ramirez 2-25, Moscoso 8-38, Gonzalez 7-52, Alvarez 5-75, Martinez 16-109. BRA: Sanabria 7-17, Chavez 7-31, Victor 7-31, Alvarez 11-38.

Passing (comp-att-int, yds)-- FER: Martinez 7-15-1, 133. BRA: Alvarez 21-29-0, 300.

Receiving (rec-yds-TD) -- FER: Moscoso 1-7, Perez 1-14, Fernandez 1-20, Ramirez 2-24, Alvarez 2-68. BRA: Chavez 2-30, Sanabria 4-43, Grant 3-54, Victor 6-72, Castellanos 6-101.

▪ Westminster Christian 56, Potter’s House 0: The host Warriors (7-1, 3-0 in district) scored early and often on the way to a shutout of the Lions (3-4) on Senior Day. .

On his first pass of the game, Cristian Matos set the tone when he found Akil Oliver for a 45-yard touchdown.

“We didn't take them lightly,” said wide receiver Elbre Gaiter IV, who finished with 104 total yards and a touchdown. “We played fast, physical and took care of our assignments. We expected to win.”

Westminster swept District 8-3A and is locked into hosting a regional semifinal with Delray American Heritage.

Darren Collette

PH

WC

First downs

8

7

Rushes-yards

13-75

15-137

Passing yards

141

195

Passes

14-28-1

8-12-0

Punts

2-28

Fumbles-lost

4-4

1-0

Penalties-yards

7-50

5-55

Field goals-att

0-0

0-0

Potters House

0

0

0

0--0

Westminster Christian

21

21

7

7--56

SCORING SUMMARY

WC - Oliver 45 pass from Matos (Auerbacher kick)

WC - Whyte 28 pass from Matos (Auerbacher kick)

WC - Whyte 2 run (Auerbacher kick)

WC - Sutton 2 run (Auerbacher kick)

WC - Cox 27 interception return (Auerbacher kick)

WC - Wennin 1 run (Auerbacher kick)

WC - Gaiter IV 45 run (Davis kick)

WC - Raine 8 pass from Holiday (Auerbacher kick)

Individual Statistics

Rushing (att-yds) -- PH: Emry 2-0, Herndon 1-1, Byrd 1-1, Limbrick 9-73. WC: Sutton 1-2, Norris 1-2, Wennin 2-3, Holiday 1-4, Matos 1-7, Whyte 6-22, Gaiter 1-45, Ford 2-52.

Passing (comp-att-int, yds)-- PH: Limbrick 14-28-1, 141. WC: Holiday 4-4-0, 83, Matos 4-8-0, 112.

Receiving (rec-yds-TD) -- PH: Wheelock 2-8, Byrd 2-9, Ferrell 2-29, Emry 3-33, Ashley 5-62. WC: Raine 2-16, Whyte 1-28, Norris 1-28, Gaiter 2-59, Oliver 2-64.

SOUTHWEST 24,

CORAL REEF 0

SW

CR

First downs

17

8

Rushes-yards

39-135

34-97

Passing yards

152

11

Passes

10-17-1

5-10-1

Punts

2-51

5-35

Fumbles-lost

2-2

3-1

Penalties-yards

8-75

6-55

Field goals-att

1-1

0-1

SW

0

0

3

21--24

CR

0

0

0

0--0

SCORING SUMMARY

SW-FG Garcia 29

SW-Barnes 19 pass from Jaramillo (Garcia kick)

SW-Barnes 3 run (Garcia kick)

SW-Barnes 33 interception return (Garcia kick)

Individual Statistics

Rushing (att-yds) -- SW: McCrea 1-2, Tutson 4-9, McCrea 8-40, Barnes 13-42, Jaramillo 13-42. CR: Anderson 1-(-13), Clayton 2-(-4), Salazar 2-1, Campbell 4-24, Ervan 8-33, Donaldson 17-56.

Passing (comp-att-int, yds)-- SW: Worley 1-1-0, 18, Jaramillo 9-16-1, 134. CR: Salazar 2-6-1, 0, Anderson 3-4-0, 11.

Receiving (rec-yds-TD) -- SW: McCrea 3-20, McWilliams 2-36, Pineda 2-46, Barnes 3-50. CR: Donaldson 2-(-5), Ervan 1-2, Alford 1-7, Campbell 1-7.

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