Red Devils down Dragons
Mark Pinson | Highlands TodayAVON PARK - Avon Park's Jovan Pratt scored a team-high 15 points and Alfred Brown added 11 to lead the Red Devils to a 72-52 win over Lake Placid in the semifinals of the Class 4A-District 10 tournament on Tuesday night.
Published: February 7, 2013
Published: February 7, 2013
The win moves the Red Devils, the No. 1 seed, into Friday night's district championship game against DeSoto, the No. 2 seed.
"This was a good win for us," said first-year Avon Park boys basketball coach Marty O'Hora. "The character and attitude of this team has really changed for the better and that's an important part of our success.
"When you share the basketball and play together as a team, good things happen."
Avon Park started the game out strong as Pratt scored four points and Brown tossed in four to give the Red Devils an 18-11 lead heading into the second quarter.
Lake Placid struggled to find the range from the floor and the physical style of play was in favor of a fast and athletic Avon Park squad.
Tevion Chambers and Pratt buried a pair of 3-pointers and Gus Owens scored three of his seven points to give the Red Devils a commanding 36-19 lead at the half.
"We showed good patience in running our offense," O'Hora said. "We moved the ball well, ran the clock and worked to find the open man."
The teams played on even terms in the third period before Avon Park took control of the game early in the final period.
With the sizable lead, the Red Devils worked the clock on each possession and cruised to the semifinal victory.
Lake Placid's Anfernee Cummings scored a game-high 24 points to keep the Green Dragons in the game.
Lake Placid, which played a solid game, has a solid nucleus of players returning next year.
"Our guys played with a lot of effort and intensity," said first-year Lake Placid boys basketball coach Jon Million. "Some things didn't bounce our way early and we got in a little hole. "But I'm proud of the boys because they didn't quit.
"We've made some strides this year and we have a good group of kids coming up and we want to build on what we accomplished this year."
Avon Park moves into Friday night's district championship game looking for its second consecutive district title against DeSoto, a very physical team the Red Devils swept during the regular season.
"We beat Desoto by 10 points here and one point at there place and we know they're going to be intense and ready to play," O'Hora said. "Both games were low-scoring and very physical and their coach does a great job with game-planning and strategy."
"We have to match their intensity and be ready from the opening whistle."
The Class 4A-District 10 champion earns a regional quarterfinal home game next week, while the district runner-up will be on the road against the District 9 winner.
"It's good to know we get to play another game, but winning the district and playing at home would be great," the Red Devil coach said. "We're peaking and playing our best basketball at the right time and I hope we get a big crowd in here on Friday night."
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