Boys basketball playoffs: Two all-local showdowns headline second-round games

The Florida High School Athletic Association's boys basketball playoffs continue this week. (News4JAX)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The second round of the boys high school basketball state playoffs are Tuesday night, with two all-local matchups headlining the games. Win, and teams will advance to Friday night’s regional finals. Lose, and it’s off until next season. All games are 7 p.m. Seeds are shown in parentheses.

Tuesday’s Regional semifinals

Region 1-6A

(4) Crestview (20-8) at (1) Ponte Vedra (24-3)

Road here: Ponte Vedra d. Booker T. Washinton, 68-35; Crestview d. Nease, 39-37 (OT).

Winner gets: Fletcher or Fleming Island in the regional finals on Friday. Ponte Vedra would host either.

(7) Fletcher (19-10) at (3) Fleming Island (15-13)

Road here: Fletcher d. Gulf Breeze, 60-58 (2 OT); Fleming d. Tallahassee Lincoln, 53-47.

Winner gets: Ponte Vedra or Crestview in the regional finals on Friday. Fletcher would travel to face either. Fleming would host Crestview but travel to Ponte Vedra.

Region glance: The Senators and Golden Eagles meet in an excellent all-area showdown. The teams faced off already this season, with Fleming scratching out a 52-51 win. Fletcher always finds a way to stay in games. Only one loss this season has been by 10 points or more (75-46 to Jackson). Lajae Jones (20.8 ppg) took the scoring reins from Zyhir Sims and has become the player teams must stop to beat the Senators. Jones had the bucket in double OT to cap the win and a 31-point night in the playoff opener. Fleming is deep. Colton Zapp (12.7 ppg), Ahman Greenidge (11.9 ppg) and Antoine Sandy (10.3 ppg) have buoyed the team all season. And of the Golden Eagles’ 13 losses, only four have actually occurred on the court. … Speaking of balance, Ponte Vedra has just that. Ross Candelino (19 points), Gus Jordheim (11 points), JT Kelly and Luke Pirris (10 points each) were in double figures in scoring. That aligns with how things have shaken out this season, with four players carrying double-digit scoring averages. Nathan Bunkosky, Candelino, Pirris and Kelly are those four players.

Region 1-5A

(5) Tallahassee Godby (22-5) at (1) Riverside (23-4)

Road here: Godby d. Mainland, 49-46; Riverside d. Choctawhatchee, 69-34.

Winner gets: Ribault or Pine Forest in the regional finals on Friday. Riverside would host either.

(7) Ribault (16-9) at (3) Pensacola Pine Forest (21-6)

Road here: Ribault d. Orange Park, 65-59; Rickards d. Pine Forest, 50-48.

Winner gets: Riverside or Godby. Ribault would travel to face either.

Region glance: The Generals took a measure of revenge with a lashing of Choctaw in the opener. The Indians beat Riverside in the regional finals a year ago. Coach David Jones’ team is far advanced for its age. This roster has just one senior and is heavy on junior leaders. Dominick Scott (12.4 ppg) and Montez Dunson (10 ppg) lead the way. … The Trojans pulled off a seed surprise in the opener, knocking off No. 2 seed Orange Park. Caleb Williams (12.1 ppg), Marquis Harris (11.9 ppg) and George Woods (10 ppg) lead a Trojans team that is after its first spot in the third round since 2018.

Region 1-4A

(4) Santa Fe (15-7) at (1) Jackson (26-2)

Road here: Jackson d. Marianna, 63-60; Santa Fe d. Gadsden County, 66-41.

Winner gets: Paxon or Bay on Friday in the regional finals. Jackson would host either.

(3) Bay (23-6) at (2) Paxon (25-3)

Road here: Paxon d. North Marion, 56-26; Bay d. North Bay Haven, 61-48.

Winner gets: Jackson or Santa Fe on Friday in the regional final. Paxon would travel to Jackson but host Santa Fe.

Region glance: Jackson avoided a stunning upset in the first round by doing just enough to beat Marianna. The Tigers have won 20 consecutive games and remain a favorite to reach Lakeland for the fourth straight season. Seniors Stephon Payne, Andre Myers and James Morrow headline the Tigers. … The Golden Eagles handled things easily in their opener and stay at home this round. Coach Kenny Elliott has picked up where Toby Frazier left off and has Paxon in position to reach the third round again after losing a heartbreaker to West Nassau in the second round last season.

Region 1-3A

(5) Bishop Snyder (14-12) at (1) Providence (24-4)

Road here: Snyder d. Ocala Trinity Catholic, 48-46; Providence d. Episcopal, 34-4.

Winner gets: Florida High or Windermere Prep on Friday in the regional finals. Providence would host either team, while Snyder would travel to face either.

Region glance: An all-local heavyweight clash between two battle-tested teams. Moise Balungu (13.6 ppg) and Jalen Gilmore (13.5 ppg) are the headliners for Snyder. Providence won the first meeting of the season handily (54-34), but rematches are always more challenging. The Stallions needed everything they had to get past a tough Episcopal team that it had already beaten twice — by an average of 10.5 points — in the playoff opener. Jaylen Robinson (11.4 ppg), Mason Lee (10.4 ppg) and Chris Arias (10.3 ppg) lead an always-tough Providence team that has yet to lose at home this season.

Region 1-2A

(5) Quincy Munroe (18-4) at (1) North Florida Educational (22-7)

Road here: Munroe d. St. John Paul II, 39-35; NFEI d. University Christian, 65-39.

Winner gets: Crossroad Academy or St. Joseph on Friday in the regional final.

(2) Crossroad Academy (14-4) (3) St. Joseph (20-7)*; Flashes hosting this game even as a lower seed.

Road here: St. Joseph d. Impact Christian, 45-44; Crossroad d. North Florida Christian, 66-48.

Winner gets: NFEI or Munroe on Friday in the regional final. St. Joseph would host Munroe but travel to NFEI.

Region glance: NFEI is always a serious threat to play on deep. This season is no different. Coach Stacey Poole Jr’s. program has found its rhythm and are positioned to reach the sixth regional final in the school’s short history. NFEI has reached the state semifinals four times (2013, ‘17, ‘18 and ‘19). Isaac Tevarus (16 ppg, 6.2 rpg) and Tommie Hall (10.5 ppg) lead the Eagles. … The Flashes have somewhat flown under the radar this season, but their body of work is solid. Mason Sword (16.5 ppg, 7.6 rpg) and Larry Mitchell (8.1 ppg) will try and lead St. Joseph to the third round of the playoffs for the first time since 1977. They get the added benefit of playing at home in this game.

Regional finals

Region 3-1A

(2) Madison County (16-11) at (1) Bradford (13-10)

Road here: Madison d. Dixie County, 76-39; Bradford d. Bell, 59-30.

Winner gets: Teams will be reseeded according to MaxPreps rankings points for the state semifinals in Lakeland on March 2.

Region glance: Win this one and it’s on to the state semifinals for the Tornadoes. This is the rubber match between these teams this season. Bradford won 47-44 earlier this month. The Cowboys won 48-45 in mid-January. Shayne Davis (10.4 ppg), Jontez Williams (9.3 ppg) and Daejon Shanks (8.9 ppg) power Bradford.

About the Author:

Justin Barney joined News4Jax in February 2019, but he’s been covering sports on the First Coast for more than 20 years.