Miami-Dade High Schools

Norland looking to make history

Norland head coach Lawton Williams is surrounded by his team after winning the state title against Lake Minneola during the FHSAA 6A Basketball Championship Saturday March 1, 2014 in Lakeland, Florida.
Norland head coach Lawton Williams is surrounded by his team after winning the state title against Lake Minneola during the FHSAA 6A Basketball Championship Saturday March 1, 2014 in Lakeland, Florida. Cindy Skop

With three consecutive state titles and five in the past nine seasons, Miami Norland is the model for consistency in Miami-Dade County boys’ basketball.

But even the Vikings are a bit of an enigma entering a season that promises plenty of parity and new teams rising to contender status.

This season, Norland can become the first Dade team to win four consecutive state championships as it vies for a sixth state title in the span of a decade.

And while Class 6A is no cakewalk, a more inexperienced Norland team is still the favorite, returning one of the state’s best forwards in 6-10 junior Dewan Huell (10.9 points, eight rebounds last season).

Figuring out who might come out of Class 8A is a lot harder.

South Miami has emerged from the pack each of the past two seasons, finishing second at state in 2013 and falling in the state semifinals last season. But like Norland, the Cobras are a little younger this season.

That, however, doesn’t mean South Miami is any less talented.

Sophomore 6-7 forward Latravian Glover should be one of the best in the county and with the help of junior guards Robert Brown Jr. and Ishmael Davis hopes to lead the Cobras back to state.

Coral Gables figures to be the likely favorite to upend South Miami on the road to Lakeland. The Cavaliers have developed a solid core over the past two seasons led by 6-7 junior forward Al-Wajid Aminu that could be ready for a breakout year.

Miami Beach returns one of the nation’s top-ranked sophomores in 7-1 center Zach Brown, who averaged 18 points, 16 rebounds and seven blocks per game last season. Brown and fellow sophomore Kennith Rolle, a 5-11 guard, will try to drive the Hi-Tides further than the regional semifinals this season.

Miami High is under new management with former Booker T. Washington coach Javorie Wilson in charge following the departure of Marcus Carreno after 14 seasons. Wilson, who led the Tornadoes to 85 wins in five seasons, will try to make the Stingarees a playoff team again with a very versatile team led by 6-3 sophomore guard/forward Jerald Butler.

Some of the county’s best teams, however, reside in its smallest classification.

Miami Christian and Calusa Prep are among Dade’s best overall and major contenders to reach state in Class 2A. The Victors bolstered their lineup with transfer guards Isaiah Reese, a senior, and junior Dylan Frye, who came over from Mater Academy.

Team capsules

CLASS 8A

1. CORAL GABLES (Coach Gaston “Chachi” Rodriguez, 3rd year at CG, 26th overall). Last year: 21-7 (Regional semifinalist). Top players: F Al-Wajid Aminu, 6-7, Jr.; G-F Phillip Hall, 6-1, Jr.; G-F Sam Cajina, 6-2, Sr.; G Marco Aguero, 5-8, Jr.

2. MIAMI BEACH (Coach Jacob Shaw, 2nd year, 23-6). Last year: 23-6 (Regional semifinalist). Top players: C Zach Brown, 7-1, So.; G Nate Johnson, 6-4, Jr.; G Kennith Rolle, 5-11, So.; F Charles Goetz, 6-5, Jr.

3. MIAMI HIGH (Coach Javorie Wilson, 1st year at MHS, 6th overall, 85-40). Last year: 16-14 (Regional quarterfinalist). Top players: G-F Gerald Butler, 6-3, So.; PF Marlon Sierra, 6-6, Jr.; SG Malcolm Nicholas, 6-4, So.; PG Johan Chevelier, 6-0, Sr.

4. SOUTH MIAMI (Coach Robert Doctor, 11th year, 187-68). Last year: 21-5 (State semifinalist). Top players: F Latravian Glover, 6-7, So.; PG Robert Brown, Jr., 6-1, Jr.; G Ishmael Davis, 6-3, Jr.; F Elijah Reed, 6-4, Sr.

5. SOUTHRIDGE (Coach John Herron, 5th year at SR, 12th overall, 176-91). Last year: 20-7 (Regional quarterfinalist). Top players: PG Canaan Bartley, 6-2, Sr.; SG Raquan Mitchell, 6-2, Sr.; G Shawn Chandler, 6-0, Jr.; PG Jamhel McNair, 5-7, Jr.

6. COLUMBUS (Coach Henry Lorenzo, 6th year at COL, 18th overall, 362-162). Last year: 17-9. Top players: G Andy Byrne, 6-2, Sr.; G-F Alex Vanzant, 6-2, Sr.; F Danny Rodriguez, 6-1, Sr.; PG Danny Enjamio, 5-10, Sr.

7. CORAL REEF (Coach Adam Graham, 3rd year at CR, 33-12, 9th overall). Last year: 13-14 (Regional quarterfinalist). Top players: F Brent Holcombe, 6-8, So.; G Adrian Fyne, 6-0, Sr.; G A.J. Stevens, 6-0, Sr.; G Julian Farradas, 6-0, Sr.

8. SOUTH DADE (Coach Rock Garciga, 6th year at SD, 23rd overall, 320-188). Last year: 18-5. Top players: F Antoine Vesey, 6-3, Sr.; C Kyle Peel, 7-1, Sr.; F Steven Torres, 6-3, Sr.; F Khali Pompey, 6-6, Sr.

9. PALMETTO (Coach Rick Landera, 3rd year at PAL, 11th overall, 31-18). Last year: 11-12. Top players: G Frankie Pubchara, 6-1, Sr.; F London Duran, 6-3, Sr.; G Jayden Hardaway, 6-0, So.

10. FERGUSON (Coach Tom Jicha). Last year: N/A. Top players: F Michael Stoltenborg, 6-2, Sr.; G Pedro Alarcon, 6-4, Sr.; F Dennys Gonzalez, 6-3, Jr.; F Christian Perez, 6-2, Jr.

11. BRADDOCK (Coach Willie Diaz, 19th year at BR, 30th overall, 341-400). Last year: 10-14. Top players: PG Emanuelle Garcia, 6-0, Sr.; F Justin Reese, 6-1, Sr.; F Adolfo Diaz, 6-4, Sr.; G Robert Ruiz, 6-0, Sr.

12. HIALEAH GARDENS (Coach Daniel Garcia, 2nd year, 7-14). Last year: 7-14. Top players: G Stanley Kimbrough, 6-1, Sr.; F Xebastian Aguilar, 6-2, Sr.; G Osmani Martin, 6-0, Sr.; PG Ramon Dominguez, 5-7, Jr.

13. SOUTHWEST (Coach Roberto Fatjo, 1st year). Last year: 11-12. Top players: F Josel Aloma, 6-1, Sr.; G Armando Rodriguez, 5-9, Jr.

14. VARELA (Coach Cesar Lacaci). Last year: 9-13. Top players: F-C Brandon Brown, 6-4, Sr.; G Adrian Medina, 6-0, Sr.; G Reinieri Ramos, 6-0, Jr.; G Justin Vargas, 5-10, Sr.

15. SUNSET (Coach Erick Martinez, 2nd year at SUN, 6th overall, 50-60). Last year: 5-17. Top players: PF Julian Noriega, 6-3, Jr.; SF Chris Forcade, 6-3, Sr.; SG Luiz Veloz, 6-0, Jr.; SG Enzo Noalie, 5-8, Jr.

16. KROP (Coach Christopher Garcia, 1st year). Last year: N/A. Top players: G Karl Jeanty, 6-4, Jr.; G Kyle Washington, 6-2, Sr.; PG Abraham Arcena, 5-11, Jr.; F Felipe Souza, 6-6, Jr.

17. CORAL PARK (Coach Mario Martinez, 1st year at CP, 8th overall). Last year: 1-18. Top players: F Pedro Fournier, 6-5, Sr.; G Miguel Arnold, 6-2, So.; G Joshua Cisneros, 5-11, Sr.; G Daniel Aguasvivas, 5-11, Sr.

CLASS 7A

1. CENTRAL (Coach Maurice Troupe, 2nd year at CEN, 7th overall). Last year: 15-8 (Regional quarterfinalist). Top players: G Phillip Saunders, 6-1, Sr.; F Deandre Wynn, 6-7, Sr.; G Anthony Wilson, 6-4, Jr.; F Kenny Turnier, 6-4, Jr.

2. AMERICAN (Coach Kelvin Farrington, 121-81). Last year: 14-10 (Regional quarterfinalist). Top players: G Shaquille Harris, 6-5, So.; G Kobie Johnson, 6-0, Jr.; C Isaiah Petit-Frere, 6-3, Jr.; G Kavaughn Evans, 5-9, Jr.

3. NORTH MIAMI BEACH (Coach Joseph Masselle, 5th year, 42-46). Last year: 10-12. Top players: G Ashton Leger, 5-10, Sr.; F Marvin Bien-Aime, 6-3, Jr.; F Nesken Nord, 6-4, Jr.; G Wengly Saintlouis, 5-11, Sr.

CLASS 6A

1. NORLAND (Coach Lawton Williams, 12th year, 255-69). Last year: 27-5 (State champions). Top players: F Dewan Huell, 6-10, Jr.; G David Jean-Baptiste, 6-1, Jr.; G Denzell Williams, 6-0, Sr.; G Tyrik Waite, 6-0, Jr.

2. MATER ACADEMY (Coach Corey Stephens). Last year: 24-5 (Regional semifinalist). Top players: G Raul Frias, 6-2, Sr.; G Chris Mejia, 6-3, Jr.; F Jonathan Nunez, 6-7, Sr.; F Mario Osorio, 6-3, Sr.

3. NORTHWESTERN (Coach Traavis Chandler, 2nd year at NW, 6th overall, 96-50). Last year: 19-10 (Regional quarterfinalist). Top players: F Aaron Kinsey, 6-5, Sr.; G Calvin Graham, 6-0, Sr.; C Matthew Bellamy, 6-7, Sr.; PG Reynold Louis, 5-10, Jr.

4. MIAMI SPRINGS (Coach Delmar Wilson, 7th year at MS, 8th overall). Last year: 20-9. Top players: G Jesus Alfonso, 5-7, So.; F Phillip Alfonso, 6-5, Sr.; G-F Sebastian Alderete, 6-2, Jr.

5. DORAL ACADEMY (Coach Jorge Fernandez, 1st year). Last year: 14-10. Top players: SG Jeffrey Steel, 6-3, Sr.; PG Jonathan Pierre, 6-1, Sr.; G Sergio Martin, 6-1, Sr.; C Jason Solivan, 6-5, Sr.

6. HOMESTEAD (Coach Connie Moore III, 2nd year, 23-21). Last year: 16-5. Top players: G-F Jeffery Collier, 6-5, Jr.; G Gary Lacount, 6-0, So.; G Winson Louis-Charles, 5-8, Sr.; G Justin Shinhoster, 6-0, So.

7. CAROL CITY (Coach Henry Dunn, 2nd year at CC, 7th overall, 50-40). Last year: 13-8 (Regional quarterfinalist). Top players: C Isaiah Jackson, 6-7, Sr.; SG Jarod Johnkins, 6-2, Sr.

8. BELEN JESUIT (Coach Jose Roca, 18th year, 304-178). Last year: 14-10. Top players: G Eduardo Cruz, 5-11, Sr.; F Daniel Romeu, 6-3, Sr.; G Alfredo Consuegra, 6-0, Jr.; F Joseph Ordonez, 6-3, Sr.

9. MOURNING (Coach Dennis Alexander, 2nd year at ATM, 11-13). Last year: 11-13. Top players: C Malik Green, 6-6, Sr.; PG-SG Ben Tal, 5-11, So.; PF-C Tommy Martinez, So.; G-F Mathew Tanis, 5-8, So.

10. JACKSON (Coach Art Herrera, 3rd year at JAC, 8th overall). Last year: 10-10. Top players: PG Jamhel McDonald, 5-7, Sr.; G Sidney Cherieser, 6-2, Jr.; G Angello Ritchey, 6-2, Jr.; F Jakary Barnett, 6-3, Sr.

11. TERRA (Coach Bill Healy, 2nd year at TERRA, 37th overall, 387-634). Last year: 6-16. Top players: G Josh Munoz, 6-1, Sr.; G Richard Muino, 5-11, Sr.; PG Hunter Swihart, 5-11, Jr.; G-F Hunter Rodriguez, 6-1, Sr.

CLASS 4A

1. MONSIGNOR PACE (Coach Anthony Serro, 3rd year, 29-31). Last year: 20-11 (Regional finalist). Top players: G Charles Fisher, Jr., 6-1, Sr.; G Sebastien Jean, 5-9, Jr.; F Phillip Brunson, 6-3, Jr.; G Armand Del Castillo, 5-10, Jr.

2. GULLIVER (Coach Manny Bloom, 4th year at GP, 13th overall, 183-127). Last year: 15-14 (Regional quarterfinalist). Top players: C-F Victor Uyaelunmo, 7-0, So.; F Joseph Jackson, 6-7, Jr.; SF Cody Bowes, 6-5, So.; G Mitch Pattullo, 6-2, Sr.

3. FLORIDA CHRISTIAN (Coach Jason Doan, 1st year at FC, 5th overall, 63-44). Last year: 16-7. Top players: F Gabriel Perez-Ronchetta, 6-4, Jr.; G Marcus Rivero, 6-0, Jr.; F Timothy Bernard, 6-5, Sr.; F Mike Campbell, 6-3, Sr.

4. BOOKER T. WASHINGTON (Coach Jarrett Forbes, 1st year at BTW, 11th overall, 115-110). Last year: 18-7 (Regional quarterfinalist). Top players: PG Donald Hutchinson, 6-0, Sr.; SG Malik Brown, 5-11, Sr.; G-F Jordan Neal, 5-11, Sr.; G-F Anthony Merra, 6-0, So.

5. LA SALLE (Coach Michael Guilbaud, 2nd year at LAS, 10th overall). Last year: N/A. Top players: G Jesus Cruz, Jr.; G Ian Cruz, Jr.; G Brett Richard, Sr.; G Oscar Gaeton, So.

6. RANSOM EVERGLADES (Coach Claude Grubair, 391-139). Last year: 21-11 (Regional semifinalist). Top players: PG Scott Rivlin, 6-0, Sr.; F Jackson Woolworth, 6-2, Sr.; G-F Nick Cobb, 6-2, Jr.; G A.J. Spiegelman, 6-2, Sr.

7. EDISON (Coach Damon Wilcox, 4th year at ED, 40-34, 10th overall). Last year: 9-14. Top players: SG Willie Greene, 5-9, Sr.; C Marck Bernard, 6-8, Sr.; F Ken Synvrit, 6-6, Jr.; F Robert Knowles, 6-3, Sr.

CLASS 3A

1. WESTWOOD CHRISTIAN (Coach Jose Amat). Last year: 26-5 (Regional semifinalist). Top players: F Eugene Joseph, 6-4, Sr.; G Joseph Jou, 6-4, Sr.; G Ty Pierre, 6-3, So.; G Brandon Molina, 6-0, So.

2. ARCHBISHOP CARROLL (Coach Juan Hernandez, 4th year at ABC, 147-48). Last year: N/A. Top players: G Josh Rosario, 6-2, So.; G Luis Fred, 6-2, Jr.; F Christian Garcia, 6-3, Jr.; G Carlos Villamil, 5-10, So.

3. MIAMI COUNTRY DAY (Coach Hugo DeLaRosa, 1st year). Last year: 20-7 (Regional quarterfinalist). Top players: G Mick Lynott, 5-9, So.; G-F Anthony Cambo, 5-11, Fr.; F-C Ryan Gomez, 6-1, Sr.; F-C Sascha Kappos, 6-5, Sr.

4. SLAM CHARTER (Coach Fred Regueira, 2nd year at SLAM, 7th overall, 60-45). Last year: 8-6. Top players: PF Ronique Robinson, 6-7, Sr.; PG Luis De La Cruz, 5-10, Sr.; SG Jakari Larkin, 6-2, Sr.; SG Alex Fallete, 6-0, Sr.

5. WESTMINSTER CHRISTIAN (Coach P.J. Brown). Last year: 13-12. Top players: Justin Brown, 6-2, Jr.; Keon Paicely, 6-0, Jr.; John Raine, 6-2, Jr.; Josue Velasquez, 5-10, Sr.

6. ARCHBISHOP CURLEY (Coach Charlie Funk, 6th year at AC). Last year: 15-11. Top players: PG Zach Longman, 5-10, Sr.; PG Bryan Llerandi, 5-8, Sr.; C Dave Joseph, 6-3, So.; G David Anilus, 5-11, Jr.

7. PALMER TRINITY (Coach Ernest Robertson, Jr., 9th year at PT, 13th overall, 109-104). Last year: 11-17 (Regional quarterfinalist). Top players: PF Ethan Becker, 6-4, Sr.; G Mathew Roberts, 6-2, Sr.; SG Cole Hebble, 5-8, So.; PF Nicholas Portuondo, 6-3, Sr.

8. SCHECK HILLEL (Coach Craig Mankoff, 1st year at SH, 4th overall, 37-33). Last year: 5-10. Top players: G Jack Kaswan, 6-0, Sr.; C-F Ariel Pinkhasov, 6-5, Sr.; F Daniel Ohayon, 6-3, Sr.; F-G Jacky Kleinbaum, 6-3, So.

9. HIALEAH EDUCATIONAL (Coach Jeff Stepanenko, 4th year, 23-42). Last year: 8-16. Top players: F-G Julio Munoz, 5-10, Sr.; F Manoah St. Clair, 6-1, Jr.; G Isander Lara, 5-5, So.

CLASS 2A

1. MIAMI CHRISTIAN Top players: G Isaiah Reese, 6-2, Sr.; G Dylan Frye, 6-1, Jr.; G Marquill Smith, 6-3, Sr.; G Raphael Diaz, 6-5, Jr.

2. CALUSA PREP (Coach Derrick DeLaGrana, 2nd year, 18-10). Last year: 18-10 (Regional finalist). Top players: SG Jhery Matos, Sr.; SG JackNelson Joseph, Sr.; PF Victor Pena, Sr. SG Efra Colon, Sr.

3. CHAMPAGNAT CATHOLIC (Coach Danny Serrano, 5th year at CCS, 11th overall, 186-64). Last year: 18-5 (Regional semifinalist). Top players: F-C Nashad Mackey, 6-4, Sr.; PG Jaron Cornish, 6-0, Sr.; F Oswald Parker, 6-4, Sr.; G Ariel Vazquez, 6-2, Sr.

4. HEBREW ACADEMY (Coach Scott Berman, 2nd year at HA, 6th overall, 16-8). Last year: 16-8. Top players: SG Morris Esformes, 5-10, Sr.; PG Chad Masin, 5-11, Sr.; SG Jack Esformes, 6-3, So.; C Michael Bixon, 6-4, Jr.

5. PRINCETON CHRISTIAN (Coach Benny Fernandez, 2nd year at PC, 3rd overall, 10-27). Last year: 9-12. Top players: PG Nick Duran, 6-2, Sr.; PF Sadiki Isaac, 6-4, Jr.; SG Alex Rodriguez, 6-1, Sr.

6. DIVINE SAVIOR (Coach Dan Unke, 5th year, 11-41). Last year: 8-14. Top players: G Israel Martinez, 6-0, So.; PG Cesar Molina, 5-11, So.; F Juan Deirmenjian, 5-11, Sr.; F Juan Rebellon, 6-0, Sr.

INDEPENDENT

SCHOOLHOUSE PREP (Coach Isaac Liber, 2nd year at SP, 32nd overall, 615-280). Last year: N/A. Top players: G Robert Ramos, 6-1, Jr.; G Kelvin Tompkins, 6-1, Jr.; PG Adrian Peon, 5-10, So.

Season outlook

KEY DATES

Monday: Season began.

Friday-Saturday: Hoop Exchange Thanks for Hoops Shootout in Orlando.

Dec. 11-13: A-Rod Classic at Columbus.

Dec. 15-Jan. 3: Various holiday tournaments.

Dec. 17-22: Crescom Bank Holiday Invitational in South Carolina.

Dec. 19-23: Kreul Classic in Coral Springs.

Dec. 27, 29-30: Junior Orange Bowl Classic at Reagan.

Jan. 17-19: MLK Classic.

Jan. 27-30: GMAC tournament.

Feb. 2-4, 6-7: Districts.

Feb. 12: Regional quarterfinals.

Feb. 17: Regional semifinals.

Feb. 20-21: Regional finals.

Feb. 24-28: State finals at Lakeland Center.

DEFENDING STATE CHAMPIONS

Class 8A: Winter Park; 7A: Oviedo; 6A: Miami Norland; 5A: Plantation American Heritage; 4A: Orlando Lake Highland Prep; 3A: Weston Sagemont; 2A: Orlando Christian Prep; 1A: Malone.

PRESEASON TOP 15

1. Norland; 2. Miami Christian; 3. Calusa Prep; 4. Coral Gables; 5. Miami Beach; 6. Westwood Christian; 7. Miami High; 8. South Miami; 9. Southridge; 10. Monsignor Pace; 11. Champagnat Catholic; 12. Gulliver; 13. Mater Academy; 14. Columbus; 15. Coral Reef.

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