Here’s a look at high school sports around Osceola County.
District playoff action begins this week in girls’ basketball. Second-seeded Poinciana (8-6) received a first round bye in the Class 6A, District 6 Tournament and awaited the winner of Liberty (2-13) and Lake Howell (9-8) on Wednesday night. Number 3 Osceola (8-9) played #6 Celebration (5-8) on Tuesday with the winner moving on to face second-seeded Windermere (4-7) on Wednesday Class 7A, District 6 Semifinal. St. Cloud (12-6) earned a top-seed in Class 6A, District 5 and played the winner of the Harmony (4-6) vs. Sebastian River game for a Wednesday semifinal. In other district play, Tohopekaliga (1-11) played Boone in a 7A, District 5 quarterfinal on Tuesday; while Gateway (16-5) was the second seeded in the Class 5A, District 8 Tournament and played No. 6 Merritt Island (2-19) in a Tuesday quarterfinal. A win would put the Panthers in Wednesday’s semifinal against the Rockledge (16-5) vs. Bayside (8-12) winner.
City of Life Christian Academy (10-5), which advanced to the Regional Finals a year ago, opened district play on Tuesday as the top seed in Class 2A, District 11. After an opening round game with Faith Christian (12-8), COLCA would play the Orlando Christian Prep vs. Victory Christian winner for the district title on Wednesday.
Regular season action concludes this week as county teams fight for post-season seeding position in district tournaments that start next Tuesday. St. Cloud (8-6) had a busy schedule with three games on the slate this past week, including Tohopekaliga, Lake Nona and county-rival Poinciana (8-6) on Friday night.
Osceola (12-7) concluded its regular season under new coach Steve Perez with a Wednesday night contest against Ocoee. The Kowboys had a big win last week against rival Gateway (8-2), 65-63, to complete a season sweep and hand the Panthers their only two losses of the season. Harmony (4-9) would finish the regular season playing four games in five days – including regular season finale road games against Bayside tonight and Lake Nona tomorrow night. Covid issues have limited Celebration to just five games this season, while Liberty (4-8) had one game this week against Cypress Creek.
In small school action, City of Life (20-2) hoped to cap off a great regular season with wins against Osceola Christian Prep and Lake Mary Christian Prep this past week.
First round action of district play began for county schools this past Monday. Class 6A, District 9 action, fifth seeded Poinciana had a match with fourth seeded New Smyrna Beach; while No. 3 Tohopekaliga played No. 6 seeded Liberty. The winner of that game was scheduled to meet No. 2 seed St. Cloud, who received a bye into the second round, on Wednesday. In Class 6A, District 12 play, Harmony was seeded fifth and was scheduled to play No. 4 South Fork on Monday. The Longhorns are in an extremely tough district that includes Melbourne (11-2-1), Martin County (13-1-2) and Viera (8-2-1). The Longhorns would have to win two games to insure moving on to regional play. In Class 7A District 6, both Celebration and Osceola were in action on Monday against Haines City and Cypress Creek, respectively. If victorious, the Storm would have play top seeded Davenport Ridge and Osceola would face No. 2 Freedom today. Gateway (8-3-3) received a bye in the first round and will play number two seed Pine Ridge today in Class 5A, District 5 action. A Panther win would send them the District Championship game.
In Class 7A, District 6 action, Celebration (9-2-5) was scheduled to play Haines City (10-7) in a
No. 3 vs. No. 6 quarterfinal on Tuesday; while Osceola (8-3-3) was scheduled to meet Freedom (8-4-4) in a No. 5 vs. No.4 matchup. If both Osceola county teams are victorious, they would face tough opposition in Friday night’s semifinal as top seeded Cypress Creek (11-1-2) awaits the winner of the Osceola game; while second seeded Davenport Ridge (11-0-0) draws the winner of the Celebration/Haines City game. Poinciana and Tohopekaliga met in Tuesday’s Class 6A, District 9 quarterfinal. The winner of that No. 4 vs. No. 5 game meets top seeded New Smyrna Beach (9-4-4) on Friday. No. 3 St. Cloud (6-8) faced No. 6 Liberty (2-10-1) with the winner drawing second seeded East River (8-7-1) on Friday night. No. 3 Gateway (6-7) received a first round bye in Class 5A, District 5 play and will face No. 2 Pine Ridge (8-5-3) in Friday’s semifinal.
Some of the top high school talent in Florida participated in the Maskovic IBT Championships at George Jenkins High School on Saturday. South Dade, the defending Class 3A Champion, won the event 304.5 points; while Harmony finished third at 203.5 points. St. Cloud was seventh at 77.5 points. Harmony’s top finishers included Aiden Poe’s (26-3 on the season) third place at 122, JC McNichols (30-1 on season) first place at 134, Fletcher Small (23-5) third place at 140, Will Jacobson (23-5) third place at 172, a third place finish at 197 by Jaun Gomez (14-3), and a first place finish at 220 by Nelson Toro (20-3).
St. Cloud’s top wrestlers were fourth place finishes by Carson Estrada, 115, (19-8) and 184 by Spencer O`Neil (20-8). Osceola and Celebration participated in the Live Greco Tournament at River Ridge High School last weekend. The Kowboys placed fifth with 154.4 points; while Southwest Miami won the team championship with 212 points; Celebration was 16th in the 20-team event. The Kowboys had four champions in the tournament including Cooper Haase (30-1 on the season) at 120; Caleb Negron (4-0) at 126; Jaekus Hines (30-1) at 138, and Nolin Eaddy (11-1) at 192. Osceola will host the Orange Belt Conference Championships this Friday.
St. Cloud had two champions in Maya Indio (101-pound class) and Kaitlyn Gallagher (110) as the Lady Bulldogs racked up 43 team points to finish as Class 3A, Region 3 runner-ups in the state weightlifting championships. Northport won the event with 50 points. As regional champions, both Indio and Gallagher are assured spots in the Class 3A State Championships that St. Cloud will host on Feb. 13. In addition to the four regional champions, the top 16 lifters regardless of region will also qualify for the state championships. Although the field had not been announced at press time, St. Cloud Head Coach Cory Aun believes an additional eight to 10 members of his squad may qualify for the state meet. In Class 2A Regional Action, Harmony will send one lifter to the state championships at Suwanee High School in Live Oak, as Adriana Rosa secured her place in the state meet by winning the 139-pound class.
“We were locked into a very stacked regional,” Head Coach Nicholas Lippert said. “Adriana had an outstanding meet to capture a regional title and we look forward to her moving on to states.”