City of Life Christian Academy (COLCA) is headed to the FHSAA Class 2A Final Four.
The Lady Warriors (14-6), who came up one game short of the Final Four a year ago, will now move to Lakeland following an impressive 64-38 blowout road win over Foundation Academy on Friday.
COLCA took a 29-11 halftime lead in the game and never looked back in defeating Foundation.
Shannelle Heredia scored 14 points and Grace Werner added 10, but it was a total team effort as six different players scored seven or more points in the victory.
“We had some obvious mismatches that we did not take advantage of early,” COLCA Head Coach Dewrie Buggs said. “But about midway through the second quarter, we settled down and started to make the plays we needed to.”
With the win, COLCA moves into a noon semifinal on Wednesday against Miami Christian (15-7), the top-ranked team in Class 2A. Miami Christian advanced to the semifinals with a 67-32 win over Grandview and since the post-season began has won their two playoff games by a combined 85 points.
“For the last two years, we played the number one team in the state (Class 2A) in the regional finals in Florida Tech and now we get to the Final Four, and we end up drawing the number one team in the state in Miami Christian in the semifinals,” Buggs added. “While I think we match up pretty good with them on the inside, their guards are extremely skilled and that will present some problems. We need to find a way disrupt their outside play, force some turnovers and keep them from getting into any type of rhythm.”
The Warriors advanced to the Regional Finals of the Class 2A state championship with a big 67-35 road win over Victory Christian Academy on Feb. 16. It was an impressive win for COLCA, who lost to Victory Christian 50-42 in the District final just 11 days earlier. Freshman Camila De pool-maisonet led City with 16 points, Heredia added 14 and also led the way with 10 rebounds.
Buggs added that he was extremely proud of his team’s accomplishments this season.
“We lost a great player to graduation and then had one of our top players transfer, losing about 27 points a game. As with a lot of teams, we also had Covid issues where players had to miss games this season. To overcome those issues and make it to the Final Four is something this team should be extremely proud of.”
In other county action, St. Cloud’s season came to an end on Feb. 16 with a 64-39 loss to state-power Winter Haven (17-1) in the Class 6A Region 2 Semifinal game. St. Cloud finishes its season with a 15-7 overall record. The Lady Bulldogs fell behind 25-6 after one quarter and could never catch up. Head Coach Chad Ansbaugh will be faced with a major rebuild next year, as three of his top four scorers graduate, including Clemson-bound signee Eno Inyang (19.7 ppg, 9.7 rpg).
City of Life Christian Academy kept its fine season alive with a 60-35 win over St. Edward’s Academy in the FHSAA Class 2A, Region 3 quarterfinal. Although 25-3 on the season, COLCA will have its hands full in the semifinals when they will face undefeated Orlando Christian Prep, one of the top ranked teams in the nation. The two met in a district final on Feb. 12 and OCP came away with a 55-31 win.
The basketball season came to an end for the other two county teams still involved in state playoff action – both losing in the regional quarterfinal round. Osceola (13-9) went down to defeat to Oak Ridge (20-2), 88-41, in a Class 7A, Region 2 game, while the Bulldogs (12-17) lost to Bartow (17-4) by a 75-43 count.
District 9 runner-up St. Cloud battled District 10 champion George Jenkins to a scoreless first half, but dropped a 2-1 decision in a Class 6A regional quarterfinal last Tuesday. The Lady Bulldogs finish their season with a 7-8-4 record.
“Our kids fought hard against a really good opponent and came up just a little short,” St. Cloud Head Coach Shawn Beck said. “This has been a very difficult year with a season full of quarantines and injuries, but our players found the heart and desire to play at a level we could proud of.”
In other soccer news, C’mya Rawls – a senior defenseman – signed to play soccer at Bethany College (West Virginia).