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February 27, 2013
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For Grandview Prep, apparently the seventh time was the charm.
The Pride (30-2) held Orlando Christian Prep to 29 percent shooting for the game and claimed the school's first boys' basketball state title with a 51-40 win over the defending state champions in the Class 2A State title game at the Lakeland Center.
Grandview Prep had made it to the state semifinals the last seven years, but lost three times in the state championship game in that span, twice to OCP.
But this was a different night for the Pride. And it was the defense that finally got it done for coach Joe Dawson's team, allowing no more than 11 points in any quarter to the Warriors.
Ivan Canete led Grandview Prep with 16 points and eight rebounds, but played most of the second half in foul trouble and fouled out with five minutes to go in the game. Canete, who is being recruited by Middle Tennessee State, among others, was happy his teammates picked up their play when he fouled out of the game.
"It feels awesome to end it this way," he said. "It means a lot not just for me but all the great players who have played for Grandview Prep. It's amazing that we could win the first title."
Another Grandview Prep senior, Eric Mance, picked up the slack with 16 points, including three three-pointers. Mance is happy he could also get a state title before he graduated.
"Oh my gosh, I feel like if there was anytime to win, it was my senior year," he said. "When Ivan went out we had to pick up our game, and I'm just glad the shots fell for me."
Grandview Prep shot 50 percent from the floor, and outrebounded Orlando Christian Prep, 32-17. OCP shot only 4-18 (22 percent) in the second half and made only 11 field goals from the floor in the game.
OCP (22-8) had won four of the last five state titles (three in 1A and last year's 2A title). This was the Warriors' first loss in a championship game.
OCP was led by Miami commitment Adonys Henriquez with 17 points and four rebounds. He was the only Warrior player in double figures.
But the rather large monkey is finally off of the back of the Grandview Prep players and coach Dawson. The Pride can finally call themselves state champions in boys' basketball.