2022 Northeast Florida High School Second Round Preview

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The Florida High School Athletic Association announces the 2021-22 High School Basketball Playoffs Tuesday night in Jacksonville and Northeast Florida. Tuesday’s games are the second of five rounds of the playoffs, culminating in the FHSAA Championships in March at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland. Last year, Jackson and Impact Christian earned trips to the state’s last four in the 2020-21 season.

All games 7 p.m. Tuesday unless otherwise specified

REGION 1-6A

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

Ross Candelino had it again with 19 points for top-seeded Ponte Vedra, who are winning with depth. Key contributions arrived last week from Gus Jordheim, Ben Ritchie and Sam Ritchie. The Sharks are trying to do what rival Nease couldn’t; the Panthers lost a crushing 39-37 overtime showdown with Crestview on Thursday.

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

A rematch of one of the season’s games, when Colton Zapp (13 points) and Ahman Greenidge (12 points) led Fleming Island to the Senators 52-51 on Jan. 5. Lajae Jones scored 19 points for Fletcher in that game and he’s now scoring at a blistering pace, with 31 goals at Gulf Breeze on Thursday. Fletcher is trying to reach his first regional final since 1996, when the Golden Eagles got there just three years ago.

REGION 1-5A

Ribault (16-9) at Pensacola Pine Forest (21-6), 8 p.m.

A young Ribault side, propelled into an upset Orange Park by a 19-point night from senior Antonio Sheffield, showed they were ready to make a playoff run in 2021-22. Pine Forest will attack the Trojans with the trio of guards Ozell Purifoy and Joshua Whitehurst as well as forward Omarayon Turner.

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

Among the generals’ soaring prospects is Guard Montez Dunson. To get to the regional final, they’ll need to slow down 6-4 winger Tajden Davis, averaging 21.2 points and over 1,500 career points, as well as committed Delta College point guard Zavier Singleton.

REGION 1-4A

Alachua Santa Fe (16-7) at Jackson (26-2)

Hot off the heels of narrowly outlasting Marianna in Game 1, Jackson now faces 2021 State runner-up and junior guard Dontrell Jenkins, who is averaging 18 points per game. Kevin Odom and Michael Swift bolster the Tigers’ punishing defense, but Jackson needs to improve on the foul shot after missing the line nearly two dozen times last week.

Panama City Bay (23-6) to Paxon (25-3)

A relatively small Golden Eagles team will face a bigger foe in Bay and 6-6 junior forward Deondrian Washington, averaging 17.5 points and 8.9 rebounds. Paxon counters with Abraham Garjah’s backcourt quickness and Camden Tyner’s clutch shot.

REGION 1-3A

Bishop Snyder (14-12) in Providence (24-4)

Expect a closer game than in December, when Providence won by 20. The battle in the paint, pitting Cardinals senior Manok Lual 6-9 against Providence sophomore Jaylen Robinson, 6-6, could be the focal point. Bishop Snyder edged out the Stallions in a thriller in the 2021 districts. The winner plays Friday against Florida High or Windermere Prep.

REGION 1-2A

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

NFEI has the winning momentum, starting at guard with junior Issac Tevarus. Munroe might struggle to match the size of NFEI, but they have the quickness in the backcourt of the 5-10 senior pair of Deon Conyers and Cameron Stinson, both averaging in double digits.

St. Joseph (20-7) at Quincy Crossroad Academy (14-4)

As long as Mason Sword keeps scoring, like he did in Thursday’s win over state runner-up Impact Christians, the Flashes can go a long way. St. Joseph hasn’t often come across a size comparable to the Scorpions, who field a frontcourt of 6-8 Kris Parker (18.6 points) and 6-7 Michael Smith (12.4 points). Crossroad reached the 1A last square in 2021, but St. Joseph has not qualified for the third round since 1977.

Regional Final Preview

REGION 3-1A

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

Expect a close game in the rubber game: Madison County won 48-45 in January, before Bradford won 47-44 earlier this month with 13 points from Chalil Cummings. Freshman Labron Lee leads with 10 points for Madison County, last year’s Class 1A runners-up. The winner advances to the state semifinal at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland, to play March 2 against an opponent to be determined after the FHSAA reseeds semifinal qualifying based on the ranking system.

Clayton Freeman covers high school sports and more for the Florida Times-Union. Follow him on Twitter at @CFreemanJAX.

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