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March 3, 2013

Blanche Ely, Miami Norland repeat; Hagerty wins first-ever title

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The FHSAA Boys Basketball Finals concluded on Saturday night with two schools claiming back-to-back state titles, while another was crowed state champion for the first time.

Miami Norland and Blanche Ely repeated in Classes 6A and 7A respectively.

In the 6A Final, the Vikings (25-5) held Pine Forest (30-2) to just 15.7 percent shooting and forced 27 turnovers in a 42-30 win.

Zachary Johnson, one of the top juniors in the state, led the way for Miami Norland with a game-high 15 points. Johnson, who is currently uncommitted, will have a chance to lead the Vikings to a three-peat next season as they return all five starters.

It was the fourth state title for Miami Norland since 2006.

Blanch Ely, ranked No. 18 by USA Today, ended the season with a 17-game winning streak following a 58-50 win against Jones in the 7A title game.

The Tigers (27-1) were led by Division-I signees Kahlil Thomas (Rider) and Dallas Cameron (American University) with 14 points apiece.

Cameron, the tournament's MVP, set a school-record with his 100th win with the Tigers, who also boast two of the top juniors in the state in Richard Lee and Lance Tejada, along with super sophomores Therrell Gosier and James Labadi.

Hagerty, which is only in its eighth year of existence, defeated top-ranked South Miami, 54-44, to win the 8A title. It was the first state title for the Huskies (27-5), who lost to Hialeah Gardens in last year's final.

Junior Eric Castanada had 15 of his game-high 17 points in the second half, while Florida Gulf Coast signee Logan Hovey added 15. Senior Luke Doyle, who remains undecided, scored 12 points, while junior Henry Torres added 10 points off the bench.

In the other championship game, Tampa Jesuit got 20 points from Colgate signee Jack Fleming and cruised to a 79-58 win over American Heritage in the 5A Final. It was the first state title for the Tigers (30-1) since 1984.

Kobe Eubanks of American Heritage (21-8) and Grayson Allen of Providence, which won the 3A title, along with Johnson and Tejada, are four of the top 10 juniors yet to commit.



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