Boys basketball: Wellington holds off Boca to remain undefeated


Wellington kept its school-record unbeaten streak alive Thursday night, and its boys basketball state championship hopes along with it.

Cornelius Butler hit two free throws with 14 seconds remaining to lift the host Wolverines to a thrilling 51-49 victory over Boca Raton in a Class 9A regional quarterfinal.

Wellington (28-0) never trailed in the contest, but fended off a late charge from the Bobcats on the way to earning the win.

Jonathan Philistin and Nico Toledo each scored 11 points for Wellington, which will face Atlantic on Tuesday in the regional semifinals.

Boca Raton closes the season 17-12.

“That was a very exciting high school basketball game,” Wolverines coach Matt Colin said. “That’s what it’s about. Playing in a playoff atmosphere, we had a great crowd. It was two stellar teams playing until the very last second.”

Wellington got off to a hot start, opening the game with a dunk by Texan Moulton, and then following with back-to-back 3-pointers to take an early 8-2 lead.

The Wolverines stretched their lead to seven points later in the quarter, helped by a trio of Boca Raton turnovers.

Wellington led 19-7 by the end of the quarter, and could have pushed its margin even wider with better free-throw shooting.

The Bobcats cut into the Wolverines’ lead to start the second quarter, with Cade Long’s outside shooting a big factor.

The senior helped pull Boca Raton with 22-17 on the second of his three triples in the quarter. Wellington went back up by eight later in the quarter, but the Bobcats closed strong to pull within 31-27 at halftime.

Long had a game-high 19 points at the half, while Toledo led Wellington with 11.

The third quarter remained tight. Neither team shot particularly well, but the Wolverines were able to stretch their cushion to 40-33 with 3:48 left on a thunderous Linton Brown dunk.

The Wolverines led 43-35 to close the third quarter, but Boca Raton stormed back.

Behind Long, a Rollins commit who finished with a game-high 28 points, the Bobcats pulled within three with 3:42 remaining, and tied it up at 49 with 46 seconds left.

Wellington took its time down the court, and earned a pair of free throws after Butler was fouled with 14 seconds remaining.

The junior guard, who injured his back in practice Wednesday and was unsure if he’d be able to play Thursday night, sank both.

The Bobcats got the ball back with a chance to win or tie the game, but Maxime Demeus’ 3-point attempt didn’t fall.

“I’m so happy for a kid like Cornelius,” Colin said of Butler. “He stepped up and knocked down two clutch free throws for us.”

Bryan Williams and Brown each scored 10 points for the Wolverines, who finished with four players in double figures.

Brendan Chisholm had eight points for the Bobcats, and Demeus added seven.

Atlantic 77, John I. Leonard 48: Reggie Duhart scored 18 points, Kadeem Wilks added 14 and Rodwens Albert contributed 10 as the Eagles defeated the Lancers in a Class 9A regional quarterfinal in Delray Beach.

Suncoast 55, Plantation-American Heritage 53: Jacobe Cox scored 13 points, Miclenby Geffard added eight points and 15 rebounds and Crisnel Francois contributed eight points and 10 rebounds as the Chargers (18-6) edged the Patriots in a Class 6A regional quarterfinal in Riviera Beach. Suncoast will face Fort Lauderdale-Stranahan in the regional semifinals Tuesday at home.

Benjamin 56, Miami Country Day 54: Ben Lubarsky scored 23 points, including the game-winner at the buzzer, helping the Buccaneers edge the Spartans in a Class 4A regional semifinal in Miami. Skylar Twyman scored 12 points and Kair Elam added 10 for Benjamin.

Oxbridge Academy 66, St. John Paul II Academy 59: Troy Joseph scored 18 points, A.J. Cajuste added 14 and was a perfect 6-for-6 from the free-throw line and Dante Wilcox contributed 12 points as the ThunderWolves (19-4) held off the Eagles in a Class 5A regional quarterfinal in West Palm Beach.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

LB Rayshad Jackson working his way toward starter’s role for Gators
LB Rayshad Jackson working his way toward starter’s role for Gators

On the day Rayshad Jackson signed with Florida back in 2015, the doubters quickly latched onto the lightly recruited prospect from Miami and haven’t let go, their number only growing over the course of his time in Gainesville. Now, heading into his redshirt junior season, Jackson is lining up to shoo away all those doubters, and shut them up...
BREAKING: DeVante Parker of Miami Dolphins has broken finger
BREAKING: DeVante Parker of Miami Dolphins has broken finger

Miami Dolphins wide receiver DeVante Parker has broken the middle finger on his right hand, according to a source. Parker is hopeful to be able to play in the season opener, but it could take weeks to heal. One estimation for recovery is four weeks; which would be right around the September 9 opener against Tennessee. Parker and Kenny Stills (ankle)...
Hurricanes freshman QB Jarren Williams being evaluated by medical staff for potential injury
Hurricanes freshman QB Jarren Williams being evaluated by medical staff for potential injury

The Hurricanes were without freshman quarterback Jarren Williams for most of Tuesday’s practice. Williams was a limited participant in practice and is being evaluated by the University of Miami’s medical staff, according to UM. The exact issue or injury Williams is being evaluated for is currently unknown. Offensive coordinator Thomas Brown...
What Miami Dolphins coach Adam Gase just said
What Miami Dolphins coach Adam Gase just said

Here is some of what Dolphins coach Adam Gase said Tuesday: • The end of training camp really just means veteran guys can sleep at home. Last year practicing at Philly was a different deal. This is a more routine preseason setup. • It’s going to take a little time, the next couple weeks at least, to really define the identity of the...
Miami Dolphins: We rank the new food offerings for this NFL season at the Hard Rock Stadium
Miami Dolphins: We rank the new food offerings for this NFL season at the Hard Rock Stadium

Football is upon us again, and with the Dolphins coming off a 6-10 season, there are no promises that what fans see on the field won’t cause further indigestion. In the concourses? That’s another story. Dolphins owner Stephen Ross coughed up a half-billion to renovate Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens and he’s not done, having...
More Stories