By Jordan Kroeger, SunCoast Sports
The regional playoffs are upon us and three of the four area teams have made it to the dance.
Port Charlotte clinched another district title last week, defeating Charlotte 52-46 in the District 7A-10 championship. It was revenge for the Pirates, who dropped both regular-season meetings to the Tarpons.
Oh, and the Pirates had to win two road games last week to raise that district trophy high. Their reward is a home game in the regional quarterfinals against Boca Ciega on Thursday while the Tarpons will have to hit the road to face Largo.
North Port also wrapped up a District 8A-12 championship on Friday, defeating Gulf Coast 52-49. The Bobcats will host Palmetto on Thursday, with the winner facing the Lakewood Ranch-Gulf Coast winner in the regional semifinals.
Lemon Bay is the only team that won’t play extra basketball this week. The Manta Rays, who were the No. 4 seed in the district tournament, were upset by North Fort Myers in the District 7A-10 quarterfinals last week.
Another rematch between Port Charlotte and Charlotte is lurking in the regional semifinals if both teams win their quarterfinal matchups on Thursday, with the Pirates hosting this time around. The Pirates would also host Largo in the semifinals if they defeat Charlotte.
IN A COMPANY ALL BY HIMSELF
Sean Price became the first Port Charlotte basketball player in program history to win four district titles. Price scored 14 points and grabbed eight rebounds in Friday’s district championship game against Charlotte, and he’s still the area’s leading scorer by a large margin at 22.4 points per game.
LONG ROAD AHEAD
Charlotte worked so hard during the regular season to grab home court in the district tournament only to have it all taken away by Port Charlotte in the championship. As a result, the Tarpons won’t play another game at home this season and they’ll have to win three straight on the road if they want to make it to Lakeland for the Class 7A state semifinals.
A GOLITAH SEMIFINAL
If North Port gets by Palmetto in the regional quarterfinals, it’ll most likely have its hands full in the semifinals. Barring a huge upset, the Bobcats will have to face Lakewood Ranch, which is ranked 12th in the state by MaxPreps. Luckily for the Bobcats, they have home court advantage up to the state semifinals.
LED BY A WOLFF
Despite losing its district quarterfinal to North Fort Myers, the Lemon Bay basketball program looks to be in good hands moving forward with Hayden Wolff. The sophomore forward recorded another double-double in the loss with 15 points and 16 rebounds, prompting coach Sean Huber to say after the game that Wolff is going to be “something special” in his last two years for the Manta Rays.
Season record: 23-3 (Won District 7A-10 title)
Last week: 3-0
Season record: 15-12 (Runner-up in District 7A-10)
Last week: 1-1
Season record: 14-10 (Lost in District 7A-10 quarterfinals)
Last week: 0-1
Season record: 16-8 (Won District 8A-12 title)
Last week: 1-0
Player School GP PPG
Sean Price Port Charlotte 26 22.4
Keegan Wyman Lemon Bay 24 14.9
Ahmad Johnson Charlotte 26 13.5
Jake Comer Lemon Bay 25 12.3
Bryan O’Boyle North Port 15 12.2
Shemar Fleurissant Port Charlotte 25 11.6
Mackengie Simon Charlotte 13 9.8
Ben Via North Port 24 9.7
Tyler Caron Lemon Bay 24 9.4
Jake Haas Charlotte 27 9.0
Gene Oliver North Port 24 8.9
Will Batts Charlotte 25 8.6
Zach Babut North Port 24 8.5
Hayden Wolff Lemon Bay 24 8.5
Luke Morrill Lemon Bay 26 8.4
Player School GP RPG
Sean Price Port Charlotte 26 9.8
Mackengie Simon Charlotte 13 8.1
Will Batts Charlotte 25 7.3
Hayden Wolff Lemon Bay 24 7.2
Tyler Caron Lemon Bay 24 5.8
Ahmad Johnson Charlotte 26 5.5
Bryan O’Boyle North Port 15 5.3
Brandon Gainey Port Charlotte 25 4.7
Zach Babut North Port 24 4.6
Shemar Fleurissant Port Charlotte 25 4.5
Bryson Thieme North Port 24 4.2
Jake Haas Charlotte 27 4.1
Ben Via North Port 24 3.7
Brandon Graff North Port 22 3.5
Player School GP APG
Cade Huber Lemon Bay 25 3.9
Brandon Graff North Port 22 3.7
Zach Babut North Port 24 3.6
Sean Price Port Charlotte 26 3.5
Michael Reid Lemon Bay 26 3.2
Trevor Bokon Charlotte 23 2.7
Klayton Morris Port Charlotte 26 2.7
Bryan O’Boyle North Port 15 2.5
Gene Oliver North Port 24 2.0
Jayden Grant Charlotte 23 1.9
Shemar Fleurissant Port Charlotte 25 1.8
Kenny Scribner Charlotte 21 1.7