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Grandview Prep girls basketball back in state semifinals

Grandview Prep has some “unfinished business.”

Last year, the Pride made a run to the state semifinals before falling to Land ‘O Lakes-Academy at the Lakes 65-55. The Pride are back in the state semifinals this year, taking on Monticello-Aucilla Christian at 2 p.m. Tuesday at the Lakeland Center.

“Coming back this year, from the very start, for us, it was Lakeland,” Grandview coach Ian Clarke said. “There was nothing else that we looked at. We just knew we had to get back there.”

The Pride are playing some of their best basketball coming into the state playoffs. After beating ranked Benjamin by a point to close out the regular season, they have dispatched their district and regional playoff opponents with ease.

Grandview is averaging about 79 points on offense over its last four games, and the Pride have beaten those opponents by an average of about 49 points. The most drastic of those margins was a 91-14 win over Islamorada-Island Christian in the regional semifinals.

“The team is doing well,” Clarke said. “The girls are all ready to go.”

Junior guard Megan Rampersad has been the key to the Pride’s high-octane offense lately. She had 24 points, seven steals and five rebounds in Grandview’s 79-32 regional final win over Hollywood-Sheridan Hills Christian on Feb. 14.

Rampersad is the team leader in points per game, averaging 18.4 points in each contest while also averaging 2.5 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game.

Behind Rampersad’s prolific scoring is a well-rounded group of starters who are averaging between seven and nine points per game. Freshman Danielle Montelbano, who made the team as an 8th grader last year, has had a large impact this season. She has averaged 8.6 points, 5.6 rebounds and four assists per game.

“I think everyone’s kind of hands on, hands in,” Clarke said. “They’ve all been playing well.”

Clarke said he does not know much about Aucilla Christian, but he does know what his team has to do if they want to make it further than his team last year.

“The key for us is just moving the ball, getting our guards in position,” he said. “We’re more of a guard-oriented team, so just moving the ball and getting up and down the court (will be key).”

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