Lake Nona, DP reach state finals in water polo
Undefeated Lake Nona found itself down by a goal against Seminole with time running down in the first half of a girls water polo state semifinal on Friday.
But three consecutive scores by Lions junior standout Jordan Agliano turned the tide and undefeated Lake Nona pulled out a hard-fought 12-9 victory at the FHSAA state tournament in Miami.
The Dr. Phillips boys team also earned a state-final opportunity when it beat Lake Brantley 12-8 in a semifinal game at Belen Jesuit Prep School. The Panthers (17-2) will play Saturday at 4 p.m. against the winner of the second boys semifinal, which matched top-ranked Miami Gulliver Prep (23-0) against Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas (19-7).
Lake Nona (17-0), seeking its first state championship in the sport, will also play a top-ranked 17-0 Gulliver squad in Saturday’s 2 p.m. girls final.
Agliano finished with a game-high five goals for Lake Nona. Morgan Morris added three goals and Lizangel Hernandez scored twice in the victory.
Abby Culbertson scored three times for Seminole, which made its first final-four appearance and finished 12-6. Olivia Ciancimino and Maddie Shea each scored twice for the ‘Noles.
DP’s boys broke a 2-2 tie on a goal by Samer Bon at the 5:33 mark of the second quarter. Sam Collinwood then scored four consecutive goals for the Panthers and Bon added another to expand the lead to 8-2. It was 10-3 before Brantley rallied to cut its deficit.
Collin finished with five goals and Boner had three. Liam Ortiz and Aiden Abayasaker each added two scores for DP.
State goals leader Nikolas Edstrom scored five times for Brantley, which finished 18-2. Will Parnell added two goals in the loss.
Jones coach change: Alex Jackson announced via social media on Friday that he is leaving his role as Jones High School’s boys basketball coach to return to an administrative role as an assistant principal.
Jackson said formers Tigers standout Travis Aikens will take over the head coaching duties. Aikens, who played at Daytona State College and then started every game for Marshall as a college senior in 2006-07, has been an assistant coach for Oak Ridge — which won the Class 9A state title in 2018 and reached the large-class final four in three of past four seasons.
Jackson was the Jones head coach for three seasons, taking the Tigers to a district title and region runner-up finish in 2020 and a district runner-up finish behind state tournament qualifier Leesburg last season.
Hot 100: The boys 100-meter dash at Friday’s 4A District 3 track and field meet at Flagler Palm Coast was as good as advertised, with five runners clocking times of 10.72 seconds or better.
Lake Brantley senior Chadrick Richards won the highly anticipated race in a 10.54 time that appears to be the fastest certified as wind-legal in Florida this year. DeLand junior Kevar Williams was right behind at 10.57, followed by Seminole’s duo of sophomore Amari Turner (10.70) and senior Jimmy Horn Jr. (10.71) and Lake Brantley sophomore Andrew Harris (10.72).
Those are the five of the six fastest times run by area sprinters this season.
Only four advance to the May 1 region meet at FPC, which means Harris won’t qualify despite a time that could rank among the top 10 in 4A.
Richards went on to post three more victories in a sensational showing. He ran a career-best 21.34 to beat Williams (21.50) in the 200, and also won the 400 and ran on Lake Brantley’s winning 4x100 relay. The Patriots turned in a 41.21 relay time to top Seminole’s 41.34.
Seminole’s boys and Lake Mary girls claimed the team titles.
Bishop Moore won both the boys and girls titles in Thursday’s Class 2A District 7 track and field meet at Titusville Astronaut, but Montverde Academy senior Weston Baptiste stole a big chunk of that show.
The Georgia Tech signee won all three boys dashes and outraced Bishop Moore junior standout C.J. Smith with career-best times in the two shorter sprints.
Baptiste won the 100 at 10.78, just ahead of Smith’s 10.81, and later won the 200 in 21.39 to Smith’s 21.96.
Lake Highland Prep’s boys 4x100 relay foursome edged Bishop Moore in a photo finish. Both squads were timed in 42.07 seconds, which puts them near the top of the Class 2A leader board for that event.
Lacrosse notes: Winter Park’s boys and Lake Highland Prep’s girls team remained unbeaten in lacrosse after claiming district tournament titles this week.
The Wildcats (16-0) stayed on a roll with a 12-2 victory over Timber Creek in Thursday’s 2A District 5 final.
Lake Highland (17-0), which is ranked No. 1 statewide in girls play, advanced as the 1A District 6 champions when Trinity Prep bowed out of Thursday’s tournament final. Saints athletic director David Langdon said Friday morning that “with great sadness” the Trinity Prep team had to forfeit the final due to COVID-19 contact tracing concerns.
Lake Mary (16-1), the top-rated Orlando area boys team according to MaxPreps power rankings, protected that status with a 10-5 win against Oviedo (13-2) in the Class 2A District 4 championship game.
Only district champions advance, so Oviedo’s stellar season as the third-ranked area team behind Lake Mary and Winter Park is over.
Girls district champions advance to play April 22 region semifinal games. Boys district champs will play April 23 region semifinals.