Isaac Tevarus dominant, but NFEI comes up short in hoops state semis

The NFEI boys basketball team lost to Weston Sagemont in the Class 2A state semifinals on Wednesday in Lakeland. (News4JAX)

Isaac Tevarus gave it everything he had for North Florida Educational Institute.

Tevarus had one of the most spectacular individual performances ever in Lakeland, but NFEI came up short in overtime in a 76-72 loss to Weston Sagemont on Wednesday morning the the Class 2A state semifinals at the RP Funding Center.

Tevarus had a stat line that jumped off the page — 44 points and 16 rebounds in an effort that ranks as perhaps the best in a final four game. Tevarus finished 18 of 27 from the field.

NFEI trailed by as many as 16 before Tevarus, a 6-5 junior guard, almost singlehandedly carried the Eagles back. He and Sagemont’s Adrian Cruz turned in a back-and-forth scoring duel, with Cruz torching NFEI for 40.

Tevarus hit one of two free throws with 10 seconds left to tie things at 65-all and had a shot to win it in regulation rim out. He kept the Eagles in it all the way until the finish, fouling out with 25 seconds left and NFEI down 73-70. The Eagles would get back within a couple on a basket by Malachi Smith with 7 seconds to play, but Cruz iced the game with free throws to end it.

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.