BY ANDREAS BUTLER
Local storied programs Mainland and Atlantic squared off at Atlantic High in Port Orange last week with Mainland leaving with a 67-50 victory.
Mainland won state titles in 1995, 1996 and 1998 while Atlantic made the Final Four in 2007.
The Mainland Buccaneers’ speed and athleticism was too much for the Sharks.
“We try to get out in transition as much as we can and we do that with our pressure defense. We were able to do that for the most part,” said Landis McCoy, Mainland’s coach.
“Tonight was like our last couple of games with the turnovers. We had too many to overcome,” said Kyle Lafebvre, Atlantic’s coach.
The Bucs were able to build several leads, but the Sharks countered with several comebacks.
A steal and layup by Turon Hough gave Mainland a 28-13 lead with 5:15 to play in the second quarter.
Atlantic got within 28-20 after a floater by Corneious Reynolds with 3:42 remaining in the half.
“They were able to come back a lot. We are still young and inconsistent. We only have three seniors on roster. We are working on becoming consistent, which we will have to in districts to make a run,” added McCoy.
Mainland pulls away
The Buccaneers responded by pushing their lead to 37-23 at halftime.
The Sharks battled back and got within 37-30 after a three-pointer from Justin Vallejo with 6:01 to go in the third quarter.
“We came out with heart and were able to get some stops. We fought and was able to get back in the game a few times,” stated Lafebvre.
From there on, Mainland pulled away and led by as many as 24 points.
Dexter Goodin had a game-high 14 points, including four three-pointers while Criag Wilmore had 13 with several highlight dunks to lead the Buccaneers.
Vallejo and Brandon Shephard each had 13 points to lead the Sharks.
Brandon Thompson added 11 points while both Hough and Da’Treon Robinson each had nine for Mainland.
“Turon is a spark guy. Dexter is our best outside threat and Tre can shoot as well. They are young and they stepped up tonight,” stated McCoy.
Reynolds and Daquan Rahmig each added six points for Atlantic.
Girls basketball district tournaments
The district champion and runner-up earn state playoff bids so making it to the title game is a must. The games are Jan. 28 through Feb. 2.
Most likely to make playoffs: Father Lopez.
True playoff contenders: Atlantic, DeLand, Flagler Palm Coast, Seabreeze, Trinity.
Team most likely to sneak in: New Smyrna, Calvary.
2-8A: DeLand, Spruce Creek, Lyman Longwood, Oviedo Hagarty, Lake Mary, Altamonte Springs Lake Brantley, Sanford Seminole.
Note: Top-seeded DeLand has won 14 straight games and is expected to meet second seeded Seminole in the Final.
3-7A: New Smyrna, University, Melbourne Veira.
Note: NSB plays University in semi-final with playoff and district title game berth on the line. Barracudas beat Titans twice this season.
8-6A: Mainland, Seabreeze, Pine Ridge, Deltona, Orlando Edgewater.
Note: Seabreeze should make the post season and face Edgewater in the final.
7-4A: Atlantic, Orlando Jones, Orlando Lake Highland Prep, Bishop Moore.
Note: Atlantic has the state’s top recruit with Ronni Williams but the Sharks must come with their A-game in a tough tournament field to make the post season.
4-3A: Father Lopez, Warner, Lake Mary Prep, Oviedo Master’s Academy.
Note: Lopez is expected to breeze through tourney. Warner has had a good season but plays Lopez in semis.
2-2A: Calvary, Jacksonville First Coast, Jacksonville Seacoast.
Note: A win by the Lions over First Coast in the semis puts them in the post season.
4-2A: Trinity, Orlando Faith Christian, Orlando Christian Prep, Winter Park International Community, Geneva.
Note: second seeded Trinity should make the title game and playoffs but can’t overlook International Community in semis.
Flagler Palm Coast plays in district 1-8A with Jacksonville teams Sandalwood and Mandarin. Palm Coast Matanzas plays in district 4-5A with St Augustine Menendez, Ponte Verde, Ponte Verde Nease.
New Smyrna staying in 6A
New Smyrna Beach High will remain in Class 6A next season as the school won its reclassification appeal with the Florida High School Athletic Association.
New Smyrna will remain in District 9-6A with local schools Mainland, Seabreeze, Deltona and Deltona Pine Ridge.
The Barracudas were to move to Class 7A and play in District 3 with schools located in Duval County.
Staying in the current classification will help the school and program financially, especially with travel.
Prep Sports Seven Basketball
Girls: 1. Father Lopez (20-5), 2. Atlantic (15-6), 3. DeLand (24-2), 4. Flagler Palm Coast (18-6), 5. Trinity (17-7), 6. Seabreeze (9-8), 7. Warner (8-8).
Boys: 1. Father Lopez (20-2), 2. DeLand (15-6), 3. New Smyrna (19-3), 4. Mainland (14-9), 5. Calvary (16-6), 6. Spruce Creek (9-12), 7. Halifax (10-7). Others: Atlantic (9-10). Taylor (6-7), Flagler Palm Coast (9-11).