Jones post­pones game to at­tend 6A fi­nal

Orlando Sentinel - - SPORTS THURSDAY - By Buddy Collings

The Jones High boys bas­ket­ball team was sched­uled to play a Satur­day af­ter­noon game against Wild­wood in the City of Or­lando Hol­i­day Hoops Clas­sic. But that game has been post­poned to al­low Tigers play­ers to go to Day­tona Beach to watch their school’s foot­ball team play for a state cham­pi­onship.

The Jones foot­ball team plays for the Class 6A ti­tle against Mi­ami North­west­ern on Satur­day at noon at Day­tona Sta­dium.

“We want our guys to be able to go and sup­port the Tigers in Day­tona,” said Tigers bas­ket­ball coach Alex Jack­son. “I want to go too.”

Jack­son said three of his pre­sumed starters are still play­ing foot­ball: sopho­more run­ning back Daquan Har­ris, se­nior de­fen­sive back Dalvin Leggett and de­fen­sive line­man Omari Jor­dan, a 6-foot-5 se­nior.

The Tigers have strug­gled with­out those guys in bas­ket­ball, and that is a con­cern for Jack­son be­cause ev­ery reg­u­lar-sea­son game counts in the new Florida High School Ath­letic As­so­ci­a­tion for­mat — which now em­ploys reg­u­lar-sea­son power rank­ings to seed post­sea­son play.

“This power-rat­ing rule is a dis­ad­van­tage for schools that have a lot of guys play­ing mul­ti­ple sports, like Jones,” Jack­son said. “Right now I’m ask­ing kids that will end up on my JV to play var­sity min­utes for me. I’m not cry­ing, but it’s a tough sit­u­a­tion for a smaller school.”

Un­beat­ens col­lide: Two un­de­feated Class 3A boys bas­ket­ball teams test each other when The Mas­ter’s Academy (5-0) plays at Win­der­mere Prep (6-0) at 7 p.m. on Thurs­day.

Mas­ter’s, with four new starters around 6-3 se­nior guard Corey Sawyer, is 3-0 in road games so far.

The bat­tle of big men will be of high in­ter­est.

WPS has 6-9 sopho­more Fanbo Zeng av­er­ag­ing 19.3 points, 7.5 re­bounds and 2.3 as­sists and 6-11 ju­nior Eli­jah Hulsewe av­er­ag­ing 11.8 points and 7.8 boards. TMA can counter with 6-11 se­nior Joe Bar­rett.

The two pri­vate-school pow­ers are 3-3 against each other since 2008, ac­cord­ing to MaxPreps.

Win­der­mere Prep and sec­ond-year coach Brian

Hoff also will host a sixgame Hoopfest event Satur­day with six state-ranked teams and sev­eral oth­ers wor­thy of that sta­tus. Apopka, which was No. 3 in the SourceHoop­ pre­sea­son 7A rank­ings, plays fifth-ranked Braden­ton Lake­wood Ranch.

The field also in­cludes No. 3 2A Cen­tral Florida Chris­tian Academy, No. 7 3A Lake­land Santa Fe Catholic, No. 9 2A Jack­sonville Im­pact Chris­tian fac­ing The First Academy, and No. 5 3A Seffner Chris­tian meet­ing un­de­feated Lake High­land Prep (4-0) at 4:30 p.m.

Win­der­mere Prep plays Tampa Catholic in the night­cap.

Ex­tra points: Fam­ily Chris­tian Academy, the reign­ing cham­pion of the Florida Chris­tian Con­fer­ence, is off to a 12-0 start. That in­cludes a 58-57 vic­tory against Class 6A East River, a neigh­bor­ing school in east Orange County.

Ju­nior for­ward An­thony Ber­tucci, a trans­fer from East River, hit the gamewin­ning 3-point shot in that vic­tory. He’s av­er­ag­ing 22.3 points and 9.9 re­bounds per game.

■ The Florida Elks & Umatilla High School Hol­i­day Bas­ket­ball Clas­sic will have 36 games played over three days, Thurs­day through Satur­day, in gym­na­si­ums at the school and at the Florida Elks Arena.

The 27-team lineup in­cludes boys and girls teams from Aus­tralia along with squads from Ge­or­gia and Penn­syl­va­nia.

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