JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Bishop Kenny, Nease and University Christian are the three girls basketball teams left standing in the state playoffs.
The Crusaders, Panthers and Christians took care of business on Friday night, all winning their regional final games to advance to next week’s state semifinals at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland.
Bishop Kenny dumped visiting Rutherford, 62-50, in the Region 1-4A finals to reach its fourth consecutive final four. Kenny trailed just once, 3-2, closed the opening quarter on a 9-0 run and held off the Rams in the second half to move on. Kenny will face Calvary Christian on Thursday at noon in Lakeland.
Nease ended a two-game losing skid to top-seeded St. Augustine to bounce the host Yellow Jackets 49-33 in a game that bucked recent history in the series. Games the last three years had all been decided by 10 points or less. The Panthers will face St. Thomas Aquinas on Wednesday at 6 p.m.
University Christian went on the road to beat top-seeded Florida A&M, 55-53. The Christians blocked a last-second shot to advance. UC will face Faith Christian on Wednesday at 10 a.m.
Orange Park and Providence saw their seasons end.
The Raiders lost 70-55 to visiting Pensacola Pine Forest in Region 1-5A. And Providence came up short to top-seeded Florida High in Region 1-3A, 64-39.
(6) Nease 49, (5) St. Augustine 33
(2) Pensacola Pine Forest 70, (1) Orange Park 55
(1) Bishop Kenny 62, (2) Rutherford 50
(1) Florida State University High 64, (3) Providence 39
(2) University Christian 55, (1) Florida A&M 53
at RP Funding Center, Lakeland
University Christian (18-11) vs. Faith Christian (26-4), 10 a.m.
Bishop Kenny (25-4) vs. Calvary Christian (22-6), noon
Nease (25-4) vs. St. Thomas Aquinas (25-4), 6 p.m.