Friday’s District 7A-6 boys basketball championship will feature a clash of two of Central Florida’s — and the state’s top 50-ranked — hoops squads as defending Class 9A state champion Osceola meets Windermere, a Class 8A state semifinalist last season, at 7 p.m. at Celebration High School.
After the FHSAA re-organized this year, 7A is now the large-school classification.
The Kowboys (19-6) were the only Osceola County team to advance to a district championship game this week. A 54-49 win over Celebration on Wednesday — the Storm (11-12) dueled with Haines City on Monday and won, 50-49 — put Osceola in the title game against the Wolverines (18-8), who thumped Ridge 71-45 in the other semifinal. Josh Blazquez’s 16 points and Tyrese Caraballo’ 13 led OHS.The potential Osceola-Windermere matchup was highly anticipated when the FHSAA drew up District 7A-6 over the summer.
Poinciana is the county’s only other team who could make the regional playoffs as a wild-card team. The Eagles (13-13) used a strong second half to push past Liberty, 72-51, in the District 6A-6 quarterfinals on Monday. Their Tuesday semifinal was full of intrigue .. for the Winter Haven Blue Devils. PHS lead by 11 in the fourth quarter and by 4 with 15 seconds left to play, but Winter Haven tied it with a 3-pointer and a bucket at the buzzer after an Eagle bucket. Winter Haven went on to win,. 70-67. R.J. Morgan led Poinciana with 14 points. Luis Pena and Fabian De Los Rios each tallied 12.
Other district championship results:
7A-5: Boone 53, Tohopekaliga 38
6A-5: East River 56, St. Cloud 51; Viera 62, Harmony 38
5A-8: Heritage 50, Gateway 43;
2A-11: City of Life 71, All Saints 61 (Monday); Orlando Christian 84, COL 40 (Tuesday).