Rumor has it 5A powerhouse, and nationally ranked Dwyer High School will be arriving in Lakeland a day early in support of a fellow Palm Beach County boys basketball team playing for a 1A state title. The question is, which team? For the first time since 1999, two Palm Beach County teams will meet with a state championship on the line. But for Grandview Prep and Summit Christian, the similarities end there.
Grandview Prep opened up Wednesday's action with a 78-65 win over FAMU (Tallahassee). The top scoring 1A program in the state did not disappoint as four, double-digit scorers, led by center Ismaili Dauda's 19 point, 15 rebound effort pulled away in the second quarter and never looked back. To say the Pride cruised to victory might be a bit strong, but it certainly was a title worthy performance.
Summit Christian, however, found the the going a bit more challenging versus the three-time defending state champion and nationally ranked Orlando Christian Prep. Farad Cobb led the scoring with 20 points, but it was bruiser Jean Prophete who set the tone down low forcing the guard laden Orlando Christian into a low scoring affair which played to Summit's strength. With a 42-41 upset, Summit's victory set up the All-Palm Beach final.
In the championship game, each team's leading scorer from the semifinals could have difficulty finding a rhythm. Grandview Prep will look to use their size advantage in the backcourt to neutralize the smaller Cobb and the other Summit guards forcing the ball inside where the 6-foot-9 Dauda will be waiting to add to his six block total from the semifinal.
On the other end of the court, Summit will look to keep a big body on Dauda at all times. Whether it be Prophete or the 6-foot-8 Brandon Williams, Grandview Prep's leading scorer will have to earn his points in the paint as he will find little room to maneuver. However, this may wind up playing into the hands of Grandview as their backcourt combined for 51 points in the semifinal.
During the state playoffs, Summit's point totals have been 78, 69, 59 and 42 respectively. As the level of competition has improved, Summit has found more and more difficult to put points on the board.
Meanwhile, Grandview Prep has not been held below 67 points since the third week of January. in the final, look for point totals to meet somewhere in the middle. However, while Summit Christian found success muscling Orlando Christian, Grandview's inside-out game should prove too much for Summit. Look for the Pride to take the title back to Boca Raton.