You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myPalmBeachPost.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myPalmBeachPost.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myPalmBeachPost.com.

Boca Raton to play for state girls basketball championship


Unlike most of her teammates, Grace Alfieri has never played in a state semifinal. She was in middle school when Boca Raton made the state’s Final Four the past two seasons.

“I definitely had some nerves,” Alfieri said of Friday’s game. “But the seniors and the junior, Hannah (Pratt), definitely calmed me down.”

The freshman guard may have been nervous, but she didn’t show it, scoring 13 points and hitting all three of her 3-point attempts in Boca Raton’s 58-45 win over Orlando-Olympia in the Class 9A state semifinals at the Lakeland Center.

“The players stepped it up,” coach Nhu Nguyen said. “That’s what makes a good team a good team. When your star player is in foul trouble, other players are struggling … other players step up.”

The Bobcats appeared to have the game under control from the opening tip. Playing a quick, pressing defense, they forced the Titans into several turnovers, stealing the ball 20 times.

Olympia forced its way back into the game, narrowing Boca Raton’s lead to two in the second quarter. But the Bobcats’ offense warmed back up, and the defense went back to stifling the Titans.

“They had the right gameplan against us,” Olympia coach Robert Carmody said. “They hurried us up.”

Carmody cited Pratt, the 6-foot-1 forward, as Boca Raton’s most difficult defender. Pratt finished the game with a double-double, scoring 12 points and racking up 13 rebounds.

“They’re a fast team, so we had to keep up with them,” Pratt said.

Boca Raton faces Miami-Ferguson at 3 p.m. Saturday with the Class 9A state title on the line. Ferguson dominated its semifinal, beating Apopka-Wekiva 52-33 Friday after leading 30-7 at halftime.

“I (have) a lot of respect for Ferguson,” Nguyen said. “Great coach, great team, quick, can handle the ball well. So we’re going to change our game plan a little bit. Hopefully, we can slow them down.”

Senior Rachel Levy, who led Boca Raton with 16 points, Pratt and senior guard Grace Marko are the core Bobcats who have been with the team for all three trips to the state Final Four. In 2015, Boca Raton lost in the state semifinals, and last year the Bobcats lost to Vero Beach in double overtime in the championship game.

“I told them before the game … this is my third time,” Levy said. “It’s not really the feeling of loss or feeling like we did horrible that I remember. It’s the experience that I remember… and how excited I was to be here.

“So to be back and have that chance to get that feeling back is awesome.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

MLB's first Lithuanian learned the game where few play
MLB's first Lithuanian learned the game where few play

The decades-long journey of a father and a son, of a game and a country, ended with a sprint.  When Dovydas Neverauskas — fresh from the airport and wearing cleats and a glove bummed from his new Pittsburgh Pirates teammates — jogged onto the mound at PNC Park on April 24 to clean up what was left a lopsided loss to the Chicago Cubs...
Florida State’s Kermit Whitfield to sign with Chicago Bears as free agent
Florida State’s Kermit Whitfield to sign with Chicago Bears as free agent

Kermit Whitfield #8 of the Florida State Seminoles runs after a catch during a game against the Clemson Tigers at Doak Campbell Stadium on October 29, 2016 in Tallahassee, Florida.
Reflections on the Miami Dolphins roster post free-agency, draft
Reflections on the Miami Dolphins roster post free-agency, draft

Quarterback DeShone Kizer of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish is chased by linebacker Raekwon McMillan of the Ohio State Buckeyes.
2017 NFL Draft: Picks go smooth and “easy” for Miami Dolphins
2017 NFL Draft: Picks go smooth and “easy” for Miami Dolphins

Pretty much everything about this Dolphins’ draft class is normal and sensible, and that’s a nice departure for an organization that’s had some bizarre picks over the past decade or so. In their second NFL Draft together, Miami’s power trio of general manager Chris Grier, vice president Mike Tannenbaum and coach Adam Gase...
Dolphins’ AFC East rivals look to find value on Day 3 of NFL Draft
Dolphins’ AFC East rivals look to find value on Day 3 of NFL Draft

Deatrich Wise Jr. #48 of the Arkansas Razorbacks celebrates after sacking Anthony Jennings #10 of the LSU Tigers in the second quarter of a game at Razorback Stadium on November 15, 2014 in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
More Stories