Florida state

Florida State University, Bradford Wins State Titles

LAKELAND — Charlie Ward got another trophy for his case on Friday.

The former Heisman Trophy winner coached Florida State University High School to the Class 3A Men’s State Championship with a 67-66 win over Miami Riviera.

“Winning is hard, and when you win something big, your name will always be there,” noted Ward, 51, who won football’s Heisman Trophy at FSU in 1993 before a long career in the National Basketball Association. , primarily with the New York Knicks.

Tre Donaldson scored 22 points, including the Seminoles’ six in the final 90 seconds, as they held for their first state title since 1963. Anthony Robinson II added 19 points for Florida State University (23-7 ), who led by 12 early in the fourth quarter.

“I told the team at halftime I was going to put a ring on you, and I meant it,” said Donaldson, another two-sport star who will travel to Auburn to play basketball. .

Esteban Lluberes scored 28 points for Riviera (24-7) and Nicolas Flowers added 15.

Lluberes, a 5ft 10in senior, finished the first half with a long bank shot to tie, 28-28, and ended an 11-0 run at the Riviera with another 3-pointer that brought back the Bulldogs at 53-52 with 5:40 remaining.

“He really is what Riviera is,” said coach Anthony Shalbaz. “He’s a small player, we’re a small school. But he has such a big heart and he did everything he could for us. I think they wore him down a bit.”

Florida State University, which reached the finals with a 67-50 win over Tampa Catholic on Wednesday, shot 54% in the championship game.

“It’s really moving because in nine years of training football I’ve only made one knockout. I came here, I was lucky to have great talent, and four years later we are here. There was a time when I doubted I could even coach. But as they always say: all great things have to wait.”

Bradford's Jontez Williams (1) scores two as Paxton defenseman Kenyon Simmons (0) defends during the second half of the Class 1A State Boys Basketball Championship game at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland.

1A: Bradford 64, Paxton 44

Shayne Davis had 17 points, seven rebounds and five assists and Bradford (16-10) captured the Class A championship with a 64-44 victory over Paxton.

Jontez Williams scored 13 points and Chali Cumings had 10 points and five steals for the Tornadoes, who led 31-7 at one point in the second quarter.

Latrell Sanders led Paxton with 14 points. Kage Wibbing added 12 and Kenyon Simmons scored 11.

Paxton (24-5) couldn’t overcome 11 turnovers in the first quarter. The closest the Bobcats could get was 33-22 early in the second half. They finished with 24 turnovers.

Bradford was 8-10 at the end of January before finishing the season with eight straight wins.

Bradford's Jontez Williams (1) has a shot blocked by Paxton defender Kage Wibbing in the second half.

Semifinal 7A: Miami Columbus 69, Lake Worth 54

Led by 6-foot-8 Cameron Boozer, Miami Columbus advanced to Saturday night’s Class 7A final with a 69-54 win over Lake Worth.

The Explorers (26-2) will face Orlando Dr. Phillips (24-5) in a battle between the two state teams, according to FHSAA computer rankings.

Boozer, the freshman son of former NBA player Carlos Boozer, had 18 points, 16 rebounds and four blocks. Cayden Boozer, his 6-4 twin brother, added 15 points and nine assists for Columbus.

Freshman Benny Fragela made five 3-pointers and led the Explorers with 19 points.

Calvin Sirmans led Lake Worth (20-3) with 19 points and four steals.

Marvin Goff had 10 points, nine rebounds and five steals for Lake Worth, which was limited to 29% shooting on goal.

Semifinal 7A: Orlando Dr. Phillips 66, Sanford Seminole 52

Riley Kugel had 27 points and five assists to bring defending state champion Orlando Dr. Phillips back into the championship game with a 66-52 victory over Sanford Seminole.

The Panthers (24-5) opened the game with a big third quarter, shooting 56% with just six turnovers for the game. They converted six of seven 3-point attempts in the second half.

Ernest Udeh Jr. had 10 points and nine rebounds for Dr. Phillips, and Denzel Aberdeen added 12 points.

Uchenna Kellman-nicholes led Seminole (19-8) with 18 points. Kamero Moore added 11 points and Damari Henderson had 11 rebounds.