Paul Reed's 11 points in the fourth quarter and a late 10-run helped elevate the Mustangs to a 63-55 playoff victory.
by Chris Mayer | Contributing writer
APOPKA Senior forward Paul Reed scored 11 of his team-high 19 points in the fourth quarter Thursday, and Wekiva High’s boys varsity basketball team used a late 10-0 run to defeat Orlando University 63-55 in the FHSAA Class 9A Regional Quarterfinals.
Reed, a 6-foot-9-inch DePaul commit who also cleared 11 rebounds, overcame foul issues during the middle quarters to help the Mustangs (23-5) win for the 12th time in 13 games. Junior forward Jeremy Johnson contributed 17 points – 11 in the second half - and 6 rebounds, senior guard Ruben Sheppard added 10 points and senior Keon Morris (7 points) had a solid all-around game off the bench.
Wekiva registered a six-point road victory (59-53) over University on Dec. 5, and the Cougars were once again tough to shake behind the efforts of senior Nyameye Adom (19 points) and junior Taesean Jones (13 points). University (18-9) took its first lead of the game, 52-51, on Miles Miller’s basket with 2:48remaining, but the Mustangs responded with the game-clinching run.
Morris hit a jumper to put Wekiva ahead for good, 53-52, with 2:32 left. Johnson followed with a layup at the 1:42 mark – after the Cougars missed the front end of a one-and-one free-throw opportunity – and the Mustangs then sealed the victory by converting 8-of-11 free throws over the final 57 seconds.
“Keon Morris did an excellent job of attacking the basket and being poised,” Wekiva head coach Gersino Lubin said. “The senior leadership just came through for us when they [the Cougars] made their run and got the lead.
“[University] is a much better team now. After we played them the first time, they played some ranked teams which they were able to beat and they were able to compete. We actually played them in the fall league at Oviedo and we beat them by 30 and then the next time we played them it was by 6. I don’t think our guys looked at it as if we were going to walk in here and get the same result, but that team [University] got better every time we saw them,” he added.
Wekiva, which made one 3-pointer in the contest and finished 20-of-31 at the foul line, built leads of 16-8 after the first quarter and 27-21 at halftime. The Mustangs held a 38-27 advantage early in the second half before University closed within 44-38 by the third quarter’s end.
Up next for the Mustangs is a regional semifinal matchup with 9A-4 champion Boone on Tuesday, Feb. 21.