In front of a packed gymnasium at Lake Worth High on Tuesday night, the Class 9A regional semifinal boys basketball showdown between Lake Worth and Wellington lived up to the hype.
Led by senior and University of Illinois-signee Trent Frazier, Wellington held off Lake Worth 66-64 to advance to the regional finals.
The Wolverines (26-3) held a 21-11 lead after the first period. Lake Worth guard Josh Rathell connected on multiple baskets inside and outside to pull the Trojans (24-6) within 34-30 at halftime.
After holding Wellington to just four third-quarter points, Lake Worth led 46-38 entering the fourth quarter.
The fourth quarter went back-and-forth before a 3-pointer by Rathell gave the Trojans a 63-62 lead with less than a minute to play.
After Wellington regained the lead at 64-63, Lake Worth’s Avery Brooks was fouled on a 3-point attempt, but could only convert one attempt, tying the game.
Frazier then took the inbounds pass and raced up the court before passing to Miguel Peart, who made a layup with five seconds remaining to give Wellington the 66-64 lead.
Fouled on the play, Peart missed the free throw to give Lake Worth one last shot, but Brooks missed a potential game-winning 3-pointer as Wellington escaped.
“We went through a dry spell in the third quarter, but these guys believe in each other, they fight for 32 minutes and that’s what it took in this game to win,” Wellington coach Matt Colin said.
Frazier had 32 points (including 11-for-11 at the free-throw line), 13 rebounds and seven assists to lead Wellington. Medor added 14 points and Sage Chen-Young contributed 11 for the Wolverines.
Lake Worth was led by Rathell’s 27 points.
Wellington advances to play at Coral Springs in a Class 9A regional final matchup Friday night.