The first official celebrity sighting at the two weeks of the FHSAA boys and girls state basketball tournaments happened Wednesday afternooon with former NBA star Grant Hill being among the spectators.
Hill was at Lake Highland Prep’s 55-37 win over Fernandina Beach in the Class 5A semifinals. His daughter, Myla Hill, is a 5-foot-7 sophomore guard for Lake Highland Prep.
Myla Hill, who plays as a substitute, had two points, four rebounds and one assist in 12 minutes of playing time.
First appearance for
Jacob Nantz said when he took over as girls basketball coach five years ago at Fernandina Beach, the team was coming off a 3-19 season.
Wednesday, they made the first appearance in the FHSAA girls basketball tournament in the school’s history, losing to Lake Highland Prep, 55-37, in the Class 5A semifinals to finish the season 26-5.
“This is the farthest we’ve ever gotten in school history for our girls basketball program,” said Nantz, who credited his five seniors with turning the program around. “It’s our five seniors who have done it. They’ve put the time in, and the love and the energy.”
The seniors are Anna Arato, Erica Foote, Sydne Caddy, Kaylan Mitchell and Alexis Schultz.
Schultz, who led the Pirates with 18 points Wednesday, said she hopes that reaching the final four will set a standard for future players to beat.
“I hope it motivates them to reach farther than we did,” Schultz said. “I think they look up to us as role models and I hope we set that standard for them.”
Third time not a charm
Cardinal Gibbons hit the trifecta, but not one that it likes. The Chief’s made it to the state semifinals for the third year in a row, but lost in the state semifinals.
Gibbons lost to Orlando Lake Highland Prep, 69-34, in 2016, lost to Florida High, 48-43, last year, and lost to Oxbridge 67-44 on Wednesday.
“You can look at two sides to that,” Cardinal Gibbons coach Kevin Gordon said. “This is my 10th year here, and the last two years we’ve been fortunate to get to this point. I’d rather that problem, than be a lot of teams that don’t have that problem. But it is frustrating. It is, especially the last two years. The last two years, we had the opportunity. This team was very good. They made 13 3-pointers.”