By: Wells Dusenbury
Cardinal Newman (18-7) @ Bishop Verot (16-11)
Dunbar (19-8) @ St. Andrew's (22-3)
Breakdown: Cardinal Newman has been one of the area's biggest surprises, finishing the season 18-7 after going just 9-14 a year ago. Bishop Verot is a tough match-up though, especially with a 2 1/2 hour drive beforehand, and it's hard to see the Crusaders getting past them.
St. Andrew's has once again put together another stellar season, finishing the year 22-3 with a District Title. The Scots should be able to knock off Dunbar, which would set up a Regional Semifinal re-match with Bishop Verot. SA lost to them by 23 points last year and would definitely like another crack at them.
Benjamin (17-10) @ Community School (Naples) (25-2)
Saint John Neumann Catholic (Naples) (14-15) @ Pahokee (11-7)
Coral Springs Christian (20-8) @ Summit Christian (19-5)
American Heritage (13-12) @ Sagemont (Weston)
Breakdown: No team in the area has been hotter than Summit Christian. Since starting the regular season 3-4, the Saints have won 16 of their last 17. While they should continue their hot play in the first round, they've got a major road block in Sagemont. Last year Sagemont ended Summit's playoffs hopes in round 1 and then made it all the way to the 3A State Finals. Sagemont is once again one of the state's top teams, so Summit will need to put together a near perfect game if they want to make it to Lakeland.
Pahokee and Benjamin have an easier road to Lakeland, but neither have shown much consistency this season.
Lake Worth Christian (14-13) @ Master's Academy of Vero Beach (12-6)
Pine School @ Grandview Prep (25-2)
Breakdown: In the early 90s, the Buffalo Bills became famous for making 4 consecutive trips to the Super Bowl, but coming up short each year. Similarly, Grandview Prep has made it to Lakeland six years in a row, but haven't been able to lift the Championship trophy at the end of the year.
Once again, Grandview has a great shot of returning to Lakeland. The question is whether they can finally break through this season. With star guard Ivan Canete and a host of talented wing players, the Pride might have enough to finally end the drought.
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