ORLANDO — The Windermere Prep boys basketball team came out firing Saturday night against host The First Academy in the Class 3A District 6 Championship Game, making nine of its first 11 attempts from the field and leading by as many as 15 points early in the second quarter.
The Lakers would be outscored the rest of the way, 55-30, though, and fell to the Royals for a third time this season, 66-56.
“We got away from doing what we were doing," Windermere Prep coach Ben Wilson said. "The defensive pressure and intensity was great, the shot selection was great — and I think we got away from all that.
“We had our lapse on defense which led to bad shots on offense," he added. "What we did so great the first quarter, we got away from in the second quarter."
The Lakers saw a 10 point lead after the first quarter turn into a four point lead at halftime and by the end of the third quarter Windermere Prep was trailing. To worsen matters, the Lakers struggled from the free throw line in the second half, inhibiting any chances they had of closing the gap as TFA pulled away.
“That’s kind of been our Achilles’ Heel all year — our free throws," Wilson said. "We’ve lost a lot of games like that … free throws and defensive lapses."
The Royals (25-4) were led by 23 points from Fletcher Magee and 20 points from Gerrell Dickson.
Windermere Prep (17-9) was led by 20 points from Michael Stones, along with a scrappy 18 points from Isaiah Curry. Parker Davis finished with 11 points.
Both teams will play on Thursday night in the Class 3A Region 2 Quarterfinals. TFA will host Mount Dora Bible, the runner-up in 3A-5, and the Lakers will take to the road to face off against The Master's Academy.
Should both teams prove victorious, the two programs would meet for a fourth and final time on Tuesday, Feb. 17, and the game would be a home game for the Royals.
“They’ve had our number three times but the good news is that the two time we’ve played them really well have been in this gym (at TFA)," Wilson said. "We’ve got to take care of business (on Thursday) and make sure we get back to this gym."