- By Jodie Wagner Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Lake Worth kept its lead in the District 10-9A race Friday night, holding off a late-charging Boca Raton 69-63 in a top 10 boys basketball matchup.
Japhet Medor scored a game-high 25 points, and Avery Brookes added 17 to lead the third-ranked Trojans, who improved to 15-1 with the win and 7-1 in district play. The No. 9 Bobcats dropped to 10-7 overall and 2-5 in the district.
Lake Worth has two district games remaining, and Boca Raton has three.
“Any district win is a big win,” said Trojans coach Murray Smith, whose team defeated the Bobcats by 25 points earlier in the season. “They’re a good team. They’re dangerous because of their guards.
“The thing I was a little afraid of is, we beat them pretty easy the first time. Fools’ gold. We played really well, and they didn’t play well. I knew they were better than what we saw the first time.”
The Trojans kept to the outside to open the game, with varying degrees of success.
Tyrik Blanc hit two 3-pointers to stake Lake Worth to an early lead, but the Trojans were unable to maintain it in a back-and-forth first quarter.
Lake Worth trailed late, but a Medor 3-pointer just before time expired put the Trojans up 13-11.
The game stayed tight in the second quarter, with the lead never growing beyond four points until 40 seconds remained.
Medor hit another 3-pointer to put Lake Worth up 27-21, but Cade Long came back with a basket underneath to make it 27-23 at halftime.
Medor, a senior guard, led all scorers at the halfway point with 15 points.
Medor stayed hot to open the second half, hitting another 3-pointer — his fourth — to push the Trojans’ lead back to seven.
It grew to 11 points with 4:10 left in the third quarter following consecutive 3-pointers by Brookes.
Boca Raton rallied late in the quarter behind Maxime Demeus, who finished with 16 points. But a Timothy Taylor 3-pointer with 20 seconds left put Lake Worth up 51-41 heading into the final quarter.
Lake Worth slowed it down to start the fourth quarter, opting to pass the ball around rather than take open shots.
But the Trojans changed tactics after their lead began shrinking. Down by 13 at one point, the Bobcats pulled within 66-60 with 13 seconds remaining, and got within four before Medor sealed it with two free throws.
Long finished with 17 points for Boca Raton, while Blanc scored 10 for Lake Worth.
No. 1 Dwyer 66, Palm Beach Lakes 48: Eddie Davis had 22 points and nine rebounds, Miles Coleman added 17 points and Jovanni Quince contributed 10 points, seven rebounds and six assists as the Panthers (17-1) handled the Rams in Palm Beach Gardens. Ty Hands scored 15 points for Lakes.
No. 2 Wellington 65, John I. Leonard 52: Jonathan Philistin had a double-double with 22 points and 13 rebounds and Nico Toledo added 14 points and eight assists to lead the Wolverines (18-0) over the Lancers in Greenacres. Bryan Williams added 19 points for Wellington.
No. 4 Forest Hill 92, West Boca Raton 63: Jalen Jackson had 19 points, 14 rebounds, two steals and two blocks, Mehki Millender added 12 points, five rebounds and five steals and Donovan Draper contributed 11 points, three rebounds and three steals as the Falcons (17-1) overpowered the Bulls in West Palm Beach. Zach Desir had 30 points and 15 rebounds for West Boca.
No. 7 Spanish River 79, Park Vista 70: Malacai Davis had 23 points and nine rebounds, Jashone Anderson added 16 points and eight rebounds and Charles West contributed 15 points as the Sharks (13-4) got past the Cobras in Boynton Beach.
No. 8 Atlantic 77, No. 5 Santaluces 64: Rodwens Albert made four 3-pointers and scored 22 points and Reggie Duhart added 20 points as the Eagles defeated the Chiefs in Delray Beach. Jean Frejuste and Jordan Toussaint each scored 15 points for Santaluces.
Palm Beach Central 57, Jupiter 43: Drew Potter had 16 points, eight rebounds and four steals and A.J. Joseph added 10 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Broncos (11-6) over the Warriors in Wellington. Josh Williams scored 13 points for Jupiter.
Oxbridge Academy 51, No. 10 Inlet Grove 47: Tarik Jarrett scored 16 points, but the Hurricanes (12-5) fell to the ThunderWolves in Riviera Beach.
Cardinal Newman 57, Glades Central 45: Jeremy Golson scored 15 points, Emmanuel Onuama added 14 points and 10 rebounds and Chris Kent contributed 10 points and 11 rebounds as the Crusaders (5-7) defeated the Raiders in Belle Glade.