Grandview Prep earns fourth straight trip to boys basketball tournament
Saturday, February 27, 2010
by Joseph Kairalla
Grandview Prep opened strong and finished even stronger while locking up a fourth straight trip to the state tournament with a 62-46 victory over Hialeah-Champagnat Catholic in Saturday's Class 1A regional finals.
The Pride (21-6) built an early lead behind the hot shooting of Eric Peterson. The senior guard opened the game by hitting back-to-back three-pointers and added another one minutes later, helping Grandview to a 17-11 lead after the first quarter.
Peterson stayed hot in the second quarter, hitting two more threes while helping the Pride build its lead to 26-16 midway through the period.
"Eric has been on a tremendous playoff run," Grandview Prep coach Joe Dawson said. "He came out knocking down shots and got us off to a great start."
The Lions (18-7) made a late first-half run behind Zone Knowles, who scored 13 of his 17 points in the second quarter to cut the lead to 31-28 at halftime.
In the second half, the Pride regained control. The Lions adjusted to take Peterson — who finished with 19 points, but only 2 in the second half — out of the game, so Grandview turned to center Ismaila Dauda to carry the offense. Dauda scored six points in the third quarter and pushed Grandview's lead to 45-38 entering the fourth.
Dauda scored seven of his 17 points in the fourth quarter and Colin Gates added eight points — including 6-of-6 from the free-throw line — to help the Pride clinch another trip to Lakeland.
"We made some adjustments and didn't rely on the outside shot as much," Dawson said. "I think our press defense wore them down as well, and that helped create some easy baskets for us.
"They are a good team and we knew we had to play well and we did, especially down the stretch."
Grandview Prep lost the past two state championship games to Orlando Christian Prep, who the Pride will face in Wednesday's state semifinals.
"It's always such a fun time getting there," Dawson said of going to state. "We've gotten better as the season wore on and have come to take nothing for granted."