North Florida Educational Institute finally cleared the final four basketball hurdle.
The Eagles knocked off Schoolhouse Prep 62-48 in the Class 2A state semifinals on Monday afternoon at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland, advancing to the state championship game for the first time in its abbreviated history.
The Eagles (16-13) will face Central Florida Christian (20-10) for the state championship on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m.
NFEI was winless in three previous trips to the state semifinals, with losses in 2013, ’15 and last year.
Kenneth Johnson led NFEI with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Jashawne Josephs (11 points), Deangelo Elisee (10) and Saevion Brown (10) followed for NFEI.
It marks the second consecutive season that the area has had a team play for the 2A state title. Impact Christian lost to Miami Christian 59-46.
NFEI dominated in the paint, outscoring Schoolhouse Prep 38-20.