FHSAA basketball

Miami Christian Goes Back to Back 2A State Titles

Miami Christian and Impact Christian traded baskets in the first quarter, but when Miami Christian tightened its defense, Impact had no answer.

The Victors held Impact to just 11 points in the middle two quarters and pulled away for ta 59-46 victory on Tuesday in the championship game of the 2018 FHSAA Class 2A Boys Basketball State Finals at the RP Funding Center.

The victory gives Miami Christian back-to-back state titles.

“I want to thank the families for believing in the program,” Miami Christian coach Juan Cardona said. “It’s about them, and I always tell them since day one. It’s always more of you and less of me. When you get to college, you don’t know who you’re going to face or who you’re going to play for. So you have to be mature enough to take on any challenge. And I think the guys did that.”

This was the first year of district play for the Lions, whose first senior class will graduate late this spring.

“Miami Christian is an incredible team, and we knew that coming in,” Impact coach Ben Jones said. “We knew they’d be favored to win, but I’m really proud of the way our guys competed. We were in the game for much of the game. For the most part, I thought we played a good basketball game.”

Aaron Gedeon and Naeftali Alvarez led Miami Christian with 12 points apiece. Marcelo Perez and Jeffrey Hernandez added 10 points apiece.

Mike Cole led Impact with a game-high 17 points, and Jordin Jackson added 11 points.

Impact Christian turned the ball over just one time in the first quarter, but finished with 22 turnovers for the game.

Impact Christian led 16-14 after the first quarter and increased it to 18-14 to start the second quarter and held Miami Christian scoreless for nearly the first four minutes of the second quarter.

Miami Christian went on a 6-0 run to take a 20-18 lead. After Jackson scored to tie the score 20-20, it was all Miami Christian. Miguez Diaz scored followed by five points by Diego Rivera as the Victors took a seven-point lead and never trailed again.

The Victor’s man-to-man defense was overpowering in the third quarter as Miami Christian held Impact to just four points en route to building a 13-point lead.

“I thought their athleticism and length at the guard spots really affected us on the perimeter, so that was a reason it was difficult to make shots,” Jones said. “They have longer defenders closing out on them. Hats off to them, but again, I thought they were makeable shots for us for the most part.”

Impact was still in the game after Treven Hayward’s basket made it an 11-point game early in the fourth quarter, but Miami Christian answered with a 10-0 run to take a 21-point, its largest lead of the game.

“In the second half, they started getting desperate,” Cardona said. “They found themselves six-, eight-, 10-points down, and they started trapping. I think that played to our favor. We’re a guard-oriented team so we started finding the gaps and make the extra pass. It was a combination of us staying aggressive and them getting a little desperate.”

Miami Christian (59) – Neftali Alvarez 2-14 7-8 12, Gonzalo Gonzalvo 0-0 0-0 0, Diego Rivera 2-6 1-2 6, Marcelo Perez 5-11 0-0 10, Miguel Diaz 2-7 1-2 6, Jadrian Flores 1-4 1-3 3, Jeffrey Hernandez 4-12 2-2 10, Aaron Gedeon 5-8 2-2 12. Totals 21-62 14-19 59

Impact Christian (46) – Roosevelt Bryant 0-0 0-0 0, Jordin Jackson 5-17 0-0 11, Anthony Willis 2-5 0-0 4, Jeremiah Holmes 2-7 0-2 4, Timothy Grant 0-0 0-0 0, Calvin Johnson 0-2 2-2 2, Trevon Hayward 1-3 0-0 3, Mike Cole 8-12 0-2 17, Tyler Peterson 0-1 1-4 1, Samson Mack 2-5 0-0 4. Totals 20-52 3-10 46

Miami Christian ;14 ;13 ;13 ;19;—;59
Impact Christian;16;7;4;19;—;46

FG%: Miami Christian .339, Impact Christian .385. 3-pt FG: Miami Christian 3-18 (Alvarez 1-4, Rivera 1-4, Perez 0-1, Diaz 1-5, Flores 0-1, Hernandez 0-3), Impact Christian 3-15 (Jackson 1-6, Willis 0-2, Holmes 0-3, Johnson 0-1, Hayward 1-1, Cole 1-1, Mack 0-1). Rebounds: Miami Christian 40 (Alvarez 10), Impact Christian 36 (Cole 7). Fouls Miami Christian 12, Impact Christian 18. Fouled out: none. Technical: none. Assists: Miami Christian 12 (Alvarez 5), Impact Christian 9 (Jackson 3). Steals: Miami Christian 13 (Alvarez 5, Hernandez 5), Impact Christian 9 (Jackson 3, Holmes 3). Blocked shots: Miami Christian 7 (Diaz 2, Gedeon 2), Impact Christian 7 (Cole 5). Turnovers: Miami Christian 13, Impact Christian 22.

Records: Miami Christian 25-8, Impact Christian 16-14.

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