Boys Basketball: Palm Beach Lakes stops Royal Palm Beach
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
by Steve Dorsey
Palm Beach Lakes might be a young team, but the host Rams showed the resolve of a veteran squad Tuesday night when they staged a second-half rally to defeat district rival Royal Palm Beach 52-43 in the Class 7A regional semifinals.
It's the third time in four meetings this season that Palm Beach Lakes (22-3) has defeated Royal Palm Beach, including the district final less than two weeks ago.
The victory at Floyd Andrews Gymnasium also earns Palm Beach Lakes a showdown at defending state champion Pompano Beach-Ely in the regional finals Saturday night, with a berth in the state final four on the line.
Royal Palm Beach (20-7) led 29-18 at halftime, but foul trouble and a handful of turnovers at key moments in the second half plagued the Wildcats, who had two starters foul out of the game. The big loss for Royal Palm came at the end of the third quarter when point guard Iven Rosier, the Wildcats' senior floor leader and best player, fouled out.
Rosier's fifth foul came at a critical juncture of the game and happened on a three-point attempt by Lakes sophomore Kamil Williams, who sank all three free throws to tie the game at 39.
That gave Palm Beach Lakes a huge momentum swing heading into the decisive fourth quarter after the Rams had outscored Royal Palm Beach 21-10 in the third quarter.
"It's really frustrating," Royal Palm coach Rob Long said. "The same thing happened in the district final. Our foul trouble killed us."
Despite trailing the entire game until early in the fourth quarter when sophomore Quincy Rideau gave Lakes its first lead at 41-39, a young Lakes team that starts only one senior showed plenty of poise down the stretch. Lakes didn't clinch the victory until Gito St. Fort made two free throws for the final points of the game with 52 seconds remaining. A Royal Palm turnover a few seconds later enabled Lakes to run out the clock.
"This is a group that has played a lot of basketball together despite being young, and they have a high basketball IQ when it comes to pressure situations," Palm Beach Lakes coach Lorenzo Hands said. "The second half, they really picked up the intensity."
Junior starter Jimmitry LeBlanc also fouled out in the fourth quarter for Royal Palm. LeBlanc and Rosier, who had a team-high 12 points, combined to score 20 points for the Wildcats.
Rideau scored a game-high 13 points for Palm Beach Lakes. Senior guard Quinn Cole came off the bench and contributed 12 points for the Rams.
Orlando-University 52, Treasure Coast 42: Garrett Kent had 27 points and 16 rebounds, but the Titans (19-6) fell to the Cougars (17-11) in Port St. Lucie.
Martin County 74, Punta Gorda-Charlotte 69: The Tigers defeated the Tarpons in Stuart to advance to Saturday's regional final, where they will face St. Petersburg.
St. Andrew's 48, Fort Myers-Bishop Verot 41: Jovan Lawson was 7-for-8 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter as the Scots (22-3) stopped the Vikings in Boca Raton. Sean Mooney scored eight points and held 6-foot-10 Ricky Doyle to 11 points. St. Andrew's will host Tampa Berkeley Prep in the regional final Saturday night.
Naples-Community 74, Pahokee 71 (2OTs): James Johnson made a jump shot with five seconds left in regulation and hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to send it to double overtime, but the Blue Devils (16-8) fell short to the Golden Eagles in Pahokee. Johnson had 36 points, six steals and five assists and Anton Paige added nine rebounds for Pahokee.
Grandview Prep 88, Lake Worth Christian 66: Ivan Canete had 35 points, nine rebounds, and five assists and Eric Mance added 16 points as the Pride (27-2) routed the Defenders (15-12) in Boca Raton. The Pride will face the winner of the game between Naples-First Baptist and Sarasota Christian in Saturday's regional final.