Boone boys bas­ket­ball blos­soms with JV grads

Orlando Sentinel - - SPORTS WEDNESDAY - By Buddy Collings

VAR­SITY RE­PORT

Boone High bas­ket­ball coach David Martin­son had the fu­ture in mind when he kept a tal­ented group of fresh­men and sopho­mores to­gether on the Braves’ ju­nior-var­sity team last sea­son.

Some of those guys, in­clud­ing cur­rent ju­nior Will Searl, could have helped as spot play­ers for a var­sity team that fin­ished 12-12. But Martin­son said it was even more ben­e­fi­cial for them to play ma­jor min­utes and key roles on a JV squad that went un­beaten. Their fu­ture is now.

The Braves brought back no full-time var­sity starters, but the JV call-ups meshed with var­sity holdovers this sum­mer, and the pay­off has been a 7-0 start this sea­son for a team that re­lies pri­mar­ily on a ju­nior class led by Searl and shoot­ing guard Javion Phelps.

Boone is one of the teams to watch at this week’s The City Beau­ti­ful In­vi­ta­tional at The First Academy.

The 16-team tour­na­ment tips off Wednesday with a lineup that in­cludes four Sen­tinel Su­per 16 teams: No. 9 Ocoee, No. 10 Boone, No. 11 Dr. Phillips and No. 13 Kis­sim­mee Osce­ola.

The field in­cludes last sea­son’s tour­na­ment cham­pion, Day­tona Beach Main­land, and four strong out-of-state teams: Bishop Lough­lin of Brook­lyn, N.Y.; Dutch­town of Hamp­ton, Ga.; South­wind of Memphis, Tenn.; and Pre­ston­wood Chris­tian of Plano, Texas. Dutch­town, which was 8-1 and ranked No. 10 in Ge­or­gia’s Class AAAAA go­ing into a Tues­day game, opens with Hol­ly­wood Cham­i­nade, which is ranked No. 3 in Florida’s 3A class.

Play tips off with host TFA tak­ing on Pre­ston­wood, a school that is very fa­mil­iar for Royals coach Chris May­berry. He left his First Academy post to coach the Lions for two state cham­pi­onship sea­sons with cur­rent NBA player Julius Randle (2011-12 and 2012-13) be­fore re­turn­ing to TFA.

Boone opens tour­na­ment play against Seffner Chris­tian, which was ranked No. 5 in Class 3A in the SourceHoop­s.com pre­sea­son state rank­ings.

The Cru­saders are 0-4, but that’s a de­cep­tive record. Three losses are to ranked teams and the fourth was to state-ranked Lake Highland Prep, by a 92-87 score Satur­day.

“I scouted that game, and I know we’re go­ing to have to score to beat Seffner,” Martin­son said Mon­day. “We’ve got our hands full, but that’s why you play in a tour­na­ment like this, which has a ton of tal­ent. The goal is to make sure you’re get­ting bet­ter ev­ery day.”

Boone opened the sea­son with a 61-54 win against Holy Trin­ity of Mel­bourne, which has not lost since. The Braves also have beaten Bishop Moore, Or­lando Uni­ver­sity, Cy­press Creek, Wekiva and To­hopekaliga and edged Tim­ber Creek 55-53 last week in their clos­est call to date.

Phelps drew a foul on a long 3-point shot late in that game at home. He missed his first free throw but made the next two to keep his team un­de­feated.

“Tim­ber Creek came over and played re­ally hard,” Martin­son said. “That was kind of an eye­opener for our kids. We’re go­ing to take some lumps be­cause of the youth and lack of ex­pe­ri­ence. It’s not al­ways go­ing to be as easy as these guys might think.”

Rank­ings re­port: Oak Ridge (5-0) rose from No. 2 to No. 1 in Class 7A in the sec­ond edi­tion of SourceHoop­s.com’s state boys bas­ket­ball rank­ings. Semi­nole (6-0) is No. 3.

Lake Highland Prep (5-1) moved into the 4A top 10 at No. 9, and Win­der­mere Prep (8-0) earned the No. 9 slot in 3A in rank­ings com­piled in con­junc­tion with the Florida As­so­ci­a­tion of Bas­ket­ball Coaches.

Other top-10 teams from the Sen­tinel cov­er­age area are Apopka in 7A, Lees­burg in 5A, and CFCA and Mount Dora Chris­tian Academy in 2A.

BOONE HIGH SCHOOL

The Boone boys bas­ket­ball team, show­ing off new blue uni­forms, is off to a 7-0 start this sea­son.

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