LAKELAND, Fla. (WTXL) — For the first time since 1998, the Florida High boys basketball team will play for a state championship.
The Seminoles topped Tampa Catholic 60 to 57 Wednesday afternoon in the Class 3A state semifinals to seal up a spot in Friday's state championship game, where they'll face Riviera Prep.
A strong second half performance paved the way for Florida High to overcome an 11-point halftime deficit en route to the win.
"We’ve kind of been in that position before. Where things weren’t going well offensively as far as shooting the basketball. When you turn it over and can’t shoot well at the same time you’re going to struggle. But we were able to find our way defensively," Florida High head boys basketball coach Charlie Ward told ABC 27 after the game.
"Our whole team stepped up from Thad to TJ. Everyone was bringing energy and it was just having fun really. Just knowing we were going to come in and win this game," adds guard Anthony Robinson II
Thaddeus Burns led the Seminoles with 16 points, while Tre Donaldson and Anthony Robinson had 13 apiece.
"Coach Ward said at the beginning of the season that he had a special feeling about this group because of our chemistry. A lot of us have been playing with each other since we were about four or five," says Donaldosn. "Including me and Anthony. I mean our chemistry is at a whole different level and that sets us apart from a lot of the other teams that we’ve had at Florida High.”
Friday's Class 3A state title game tips at 4:30.