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Leesburg Holds On To Clinch Florida Class 4A Title, Defeats Cardinal Gibbons 66-58

The Leesburg Yellow Jackets (28-4) held off the Cinderella story Cardinal Gibbons Chiefs of Fort Lauderdale (19-8) in the Florida Class 4A championship game on Saturday behind sharp-shooting Joe Toolie, a 6-foot-3 junior guard.

Toolie was 5-7 from behind the 3-point line and finished with 18 points, four rebounds and four assists for Leesburg, which won 66-58 in the final played at Lakeland.

Freshman D'Mauri Jones also built on his impressive semifinal performance with 17 points on 7-of-9 shooting. He finished with a team-high 35 points in the final four for Leesburg, a town about an hour northwest of Orlando.

Teron Wallace, a 6-2 senior guard, scored 14 points and finished his high school career with 31 points in the final four for Leesburg.

Trailing throughout, Gibbons made a run in the last frame to cut a 14-point fourth quarter deficit to 50-44, but never seriously threatened from there.

Leesburg dominated Gibbons at the free throw line 17-7 - a major departure from the semifinal where Cardinal Gibbons hit 12 fourth quarter free throws to ice a 55-53 win over Palatka.

Brandon Bradley, a 6-2 junior forward, led Cardinal Gibbons with 23 points and five boards. Ben Mayell, a 5-8 senior guard, returned from suspension to add 18 points and three assists in defeat.

This is Leesburg's first boys basketball state championship since 1977 under a first-year coach, Marcel Thomas.