NFEI close, but fades late in state hoops title game

Struggles in second half does in Eagles in 2A championship


North Florida Educational Institute's best basketball season ended one wni short of a title.

The Eagles fell to Central Florida Christian 71-67 in the Class 2A state championship game on Tuesday at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland. 

The Eagles finished 16-14. NFEI did its best to claw its way back from a 16-point deficit, cutting CFC’s lead to as few as five points down the stretch. 

NFEI was making its state championship game debut after losing in the state semifinals in three previous trips. Deangelo Elisee led NFEI with 17 points, Saevion Brown added16 points, Kenneth Johnson 11 and Chandon Kelly 10.  

A 31-all game at halftime swung at the end of the third quarter when CFC closed on a 7-1 run and took control for good. The Eagles would trail by as many as 16, although chipped it down to a manageable 68-62 deficit on a Kelly 3-pointer with 18.2 seconds to play. But CFC stayed in front with free throws to wrap up its first state title.

NFEI had no answer for the combo of Bryce Street and Jordan Preaster, who combined for 55 points. 

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