3A: Windermere Prep Wins 3A Title
Windermere Prep won the state title but it certainly didn’t come easy.
After a half-dozen lead changes, the third-ranked Lakers pulled away from second-ranked Fort Lauderdale Westminster Academy and captured the boys Class 3A state championship on Thursday with a 62-58 win at The Lakeland Center.
“It was nerve-wracking the whole time, but I knew we couldn’t let it get away,” Windermere Prep senior guard Parker Davis said. “We just managed to keep the game close the whole way and we just put them away at the end.”
The game was knotted 50-50 with 4:22 left, but after a 30-second timeout, Windermere Prep (27-5) was able to build a slight lead and hang on for the hard-fought state title.
“We just wanted to get three stops in a row,” Davis said. “That’s what coach (Ben) Wilson preaches and we were able to convert on a couple of those stops and that’s what really got it done.”
Wilson, the Windermere Prep head coach, said the decision to change the pace of the game really came at halftime. The Lakers wanted to get Westminster (23-7) out of its half-court offense after Lions guard Jerald Butler scored 18 first-half points. The tempo adjustment worked and Butler was held to one point in the second half.
“We started switching up our defense in the second half and we changed our entire half-court defense to hurry them up a bit,” Wilson said. “I think when we extended the game to the full court that really made the difference. The first half was really a half-court game.”