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Frazier’s 32 points not enough for Wellington in state semifinals

Trent Frazier put on a show Friday night, but it wasn’t enough to lift Wellington past Kissimmee-Osceola in a Class 9A boys basketball state semifinal.

Despite a game-high 32 points from the Illinois signee, the Kowboys edged Wellington 52-50 on a Tevin Florent layup with 1.2 seconds remaining.

The game-winning basket, which came off a pass from Joshua Marte, lifted Osceola (28-2) into today’s state championship game against Apopka-Wekiva, which defeated South Miami in the earlier semifinal.

“We made plays at the end of the game when we needed to make them,” Kowboys coach Nathan Alexander said. “I’m very proud of this group.”

Neither team shot well at the start, with the Wolverines (27-4) hitting just 24 percent of their shots in the opening quarter, and the Kowboys 33 percent.

Wellington’s defense was much better, forcing five turnovers and holding Osceola’s leading scorer Brady Fernandes scoreless.

The quarter closed on a Frazier 3-pointer that tied the game at 11.

Frazier stayed hot in the second quarter, draining three consecutive 3-pointers and following with a pair of free throws to stake the Wolverines to a 24-20 lead with 4:05 remaining.

Frazier finished the first half with a game-high 22 points, which equaled the Kowboys’ team total.

“He gave me a headache,” Osceola forward Frankie Fabian said of defending Frazier.

The Kowboys, who had a big size advantage over the Wolverines, couldn’t match Frazier from the floor. Osceola hit just 7-of-23 shots in the first half, and just 1-of-5 from 3-point range

Wellington shot 50 percent from long range, and took a 30-22 lead into halftime.

But an injury to Frazier, who limped off the court after taking a hard charge just eight seconds into the second half, gave the Kowboys life.

With Frazier on the bench, Osceola scored three field goals in 53 seconds to cut the Wellington lead to 30-28.

Frazier returned a short time later with Wellington holding a one-point lead. But it didn’t last.

Marte’s 3-pointer gave the Kowboys a 39-37 lead with 1:08 remaining in the third quarter, but Wellington went back on top 40-39 on a Bryan Williams field goal with six seconds left.

That play set up a tight fourth quarter in which the lead changed hands multiple times.

The game was tied at 50 with 42 seconds remaining, giving Osceola plenty of time to set up the winning shot. Florent got the ball from Marte with 1.2 seconds left, and banked in a layup for the final points.

Despite the result, Wolverines coach Matt Colin said he was proud of his team’s accomplishments this season.

“This team has tremendous heart,” Colin said. “They fight day in and day out. I see it in practice. I always have confidence in them.”

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