OCP, Oak Ridge among teams in Chal­lenge

Orlando Sentinel - - SPORTS -

to force over­time af­ter fall­ing be­hind by 15 points against Tal­la­has­see St. John Paul II. But the Pan­thers won 50-48 on a dunk by se­nior for­ward Al­lan Jeanne-Rose as time ex­pired.

Jones is com­ing off a 15-11 sea­son un­der sec­ond-year coach Alex Jack­son and has added se­nior guard Shakur Poteat (6-2) as a trans­fer from Edge­wa­ter.

Win­der­mere High, which reached the 8A fi­nal four as a sec­ond-year school last sea­son, opens this year’s MVFC with a 9:15 a.m. game against Mount Dora. The Wolver­ines, pre­sea­son No. 9 in what is now the class for the state’s largest schools (7A), also play on Satur­day against No. 9 5A Lees­burg on Satur­day night.

Win­der­mere may have the state’s best tri­fecta of ju­nior guards with Trey Moss (6-3), E.J. Yorke (5-11) and Kanye Jones (6-3), a trans­fer from The First Acad­emy.

MVFC host Apopka, ranked No. 3 in 7A, is one of the schools that will play twice. The Blue Darters, led by ju­nior point guard John La­timer III and Florida Gulf Coast re­cruit Zach Anderson (6-7, Sr.), take on No. 7 3A Lake­land Santa Fe Catholic at 7 p.m. Wed­nes­day.

Oak Ridge, which is rated No. 2 in 7A, plays No. 5 6A Day­tona Beach Main­land in the fi­nal game of the first day and that could be a show. The Pioneers have added ju­niors Michael James (6-5), Ro­drick Henry (6-6) and Jeremiah Ban­nis­ter (6-6) to a ros­ter stocked with un­der­class tal­ent, in­clud­ing slick ju­nior guard Jalen Smith (6-1) and sopho­more Lewis Jones (6-6).

Oak Ridge was 40-3 against Florida teams dur­ing the past two sea­sons — in­clud­ing its run to the 2017-18 large-class ti­tle.

Satur­day’s fi­nale pits neigh­bor­ing schools against each other, with No. 6 7A Ocoee fac­ing No. 3 2A Cen­tral Florida Chris­tian Acad­emy, which won the 2A state ti­tle last sea­son.

Ocoee has 11 se­niors, in­clud­ing Hof­s­tra signee David Green (6-7) and Illi­nois State signee Al­ston An­drews (6-9, Sr.), who sat out his ju­nior sea­son due to in­jury.

Other ranked teams in the field are No. 6, Class 6A Edge­wa­ter, which is led by Ap­palachian State signee Michael Eads; No. 10 4A Eustis; and No. 7 2A Mount Dora Chris­tian.

Kis­sim­mee Osce­ola, which won two of the past three 9A state ti­tles, is un­ranked and in re­build­ing mode as it opens its cam­paign against Evans, which joined the Kow­boys in the fi­nal four last sea­son, in a Satur­day morning game.

Oth­ers to watch in­clude The Mas­ter’s Acad­emy, which added More­head State signee An­drew Thel­well (6-3) and a 6-11 se­nior cen­ter, Joe Bar­rett, from Great Bri­tain; Win­der­mere Prep, which has Fanbo Zeng a highly-skilled 6-9 sopho­more from China; and Dr. Phillips, which could sur­prise with 3-point sharp­shooter Ab­doulaye Thiam (6-3, Sr.) and 6-8 sopho­more Ernest Udeh.

The FHSAA sports cal­en­dar shifted the start of boys bas­ket­ball’s reg­u­lar sea­son back to Thanks­giv­ing week this year, open­ing the door for the 10th Metro vs. Florida event to re­turn to the Novem­ber hol­i­day break. It was played on the Martin Luther King Jr. hol­i­day week­end in Fe­bru­ary the past two years.

Ad­mis­sion is $10 for a sin­gle-day pass and $15 for a three-day pass.

Here is the Metro vs. Florida Chal­lenge sched­ule:

Win­der­mere

Dora, 9:15 a.m.

Wekiva vs. The Mas­ter’s Acad­emy, 11 a.m.

Timber Creek vs. Eustis,

vs. Mount 12:15 p.m.

Edge­wa­ter vs. Brant­ley, 1:45 p.m.

Lake Nona vs. Semi­nole, 3:30 p.m.

Jones vs. Or­lando Chris­tian Prep, 5:30 p.m.

Apopka vs. Lake­land Santa Fe Catholic, 7 p.m.

Oak Ridge vs. Main­land, 8:30 p.m. vs.

Lake

Free­dom vs. Mount Dora Chris­tian, 11 a.m.

Or­lando Univer­sity vs. Win­der­mere Prep, 12:15 p.m.

Cy­press Creek vs. Win­ter Springs, 1:45 p.m.

West Or­ange vs. Auburn­dale, 3:30 p.m.

Olympia vs. Bar­tow, 5:30 p.m.

Dr. Phillips vs. Oviedo, 7 p.m.

Boone vs. Bishop Moore, 8:30 p.m.

Win­ter Park vs. Lake High­land Prep, 10 a.m.

Evans vs. Osce­ola, a.m.

East River vs. Wales, 12:45 p.m.

Apopka vs. Semi­nole, 2:30 p.m. (girls game)

Apopka vs. Hagerty, 4:30 p.m.

Colo­nial vs. Vero Beach, 6 p.m.

Win­der­mere 7:30

Ocoee vs. Cen­tral Florida Chris­tian Acad­emy, 9 p.m. 11:15

Lake

Lees­burg,

MICHAELA BARNEY/OR­LANDO SENTINEL

Or­lando Chris­tian Prep se­nior guard Jon­thy Can­de­lario (12) pushes the ball down court as the de­fense presses in a Hagerty Pre­sea­son Jam­boree game on Nov. 22.

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