Miami Country Day secured its status as one of the state’s best girls’ basketball programs in 2014, winning its first state title in its second consecutive trip to the final four.
This week, the Spartans hope to secure a place among Miami-Dade County’s all-time elite.
Miami Country Day (28-2) is vying to become only the fifth Miami-Dade County team to win back-to-back state championships, joining Miami Edison, Miami Norland, Monsignor Pace and Miami Northwest Christian.
Miami High, which advanced to the state final four in Class 8A, also has a chance to join the group later this week.
Country Day is one of two teams, along with Dillard, ranked in the top 10 nationally by USA Today. Both are participating in this week’s state finals.
The Spartans will play Clearwater Calvary Christian (27-1) Tuesday at 4 p.m. in a Class 3A state semifinal at the Lakeland Center.
Calvary has lost in the state semifinal round each of the past two seasons. The Warriors, whose only loss this season was a one-point defeat against Class 6A state favorite Winter Haven, has no senior starters. Junior guards Carley Plentovich (5-9) and Savannah Plentovich (5-8) lead Calvary’s backcourt as each is averaging over 14 points per game. Junior forward Niaya White (6-0) averages 13.4 points.
Miami Country Day, which played a national schedule that included wins over Jacksonville Potter’s House Christian and Fort Myers Dunbar, will counter with its talented sophomore guards Channise Lewis and Kelsey Marshall, who are both regarded among the nation’s best among the Class of 2017.
A win Tuesday would pit Miami Country Day against either Seffner Christian or Jacksonville University Christian in Wednesday’s final. The Spartans beat Seffner Christian last season in the Class 3A final.
4-8A: McArthur at Miami Beach, 7; 4-8A: Columbus at South Miami, 7; 3-8A: Deerfield Beach at Douglas, 7; 4-7A: St. Thomas Aquinas at Miami Central, 7; 4-7A: Palm Beach Dwyer at Blanche Ely, 7; 4-6A: Norland at Mater Academy, 7; 4-6A: Stuart South Fork vs. Pines Charter (Flanagan), 7; 4-5A: Dillard at Cardinal Gibbons, 7; 4-4A: Booker T. Washington at Monsignor Pace, 7; 4-4A: WPB Cardinal Newman vs. Coral Springs Charter (Coral Springs HS), 7; 4-3A: Sagemont at Westminster Christian, 7; 4-2A: Calusa Prep at Miami Christian, 7; 4-2A: Zion Lutheran at Boca Grandview Prep, 7
GIRLS’ STATE BASKETBALL FINALS
GIRLS’ STATE BASKETBALL FINALS
When: Tuesday through Saturday.
Where: The Lakeland Center, 701 W. Lime St., Lakeland.
Admission: $10 per session; Parking: $8.
Defending state champions – Class 8A: Miami High; 7A: Apopka Wekiva; 6A: Orlando Edgewater; 5A: Bradenton Southeast; 4A: Jacksonville Ribault; 3A: Miami Country Day; 2A: Boca Grandview Prep; 1A: Paxton.
Tuesday’s schedule – Class 2A semifinals: Land O’Lakes Academy at the Lakes vs. Tallahassee FAMU, 10 a.m.; Boca Raton Grandview Prep vs. Sarasota Christian, 11:30 a.m.; Class 3A semifinals: Seffner Christian vs. Jacksonville University Christian, 2:30; Miami Country Day vs. Clearwater Calvary Christian, 4; Class 4A semifinals: Jacksonville Ribault vs. Orlando Lake Highland Prep, 7; West Palm Beach Cardinal Newman vs. Fort Myers Dunbar, 8:30.
Wednesday’s schedule – Class 1A semifinals: Hilliard vs. Wildwood, noon; Paxton vs. Freeport, 1:30; Class 3A final: 4:35; Class 4A final: 8:05.
Thursday’s schedule – Class 1A final: noon; Class 2A final: 3:35; Class 7A semifinals: Haines City vs. Wekiva Apopka, 7; Fort Myers vs. Palm Beach Lakes, 8:30.
Friday’s schedule – Class 8A semifinals: Orlando Colonial vs. Flagler Palm Coast, 10 a.m.; Miami High vs. Boca Raton, 11:30 a.m.; Class 6A semifinals: Winter Haven vs. Pensacola Pine Forest, 2:30; Miami Norland vs. Naples Barron Collier, 4; Class 5A semifinals: Land O’ Lakes vs. Jacksonville Paxon, 7; Dillard vs. Bradenton Southeast, 8:30.
Saturday’s schedule – Class 7A final: 10:05 a.m.; Class 8A final: 1:35; Class 6A final: 5:05; Class 5A final: 8:35.