APOPKA Two different days. Two very different results.
The Olympia boys basketball team scored an impressive upset victory No. 27 at the Metro vs. Florida Challenge at Apopka High, defeating heavily favored The First Academy, 56-54.
A pair of free throws by Ronaldo Segu with 2.8 seconds remaining sealed the win for the Titans — their first of the season. What’s more, Olympia rallied from down 13 points earlier in the fourth quarter.
Unfortunately, playing the next day against another team with a blue-chip recruit, the Titans (1-4) did not fare as well.
Olympia was soundly defeated by Lake Brantley, 64-31, with Notre Dame-signee John Mooney leading the way for the Patriots (5-0) with 20 points and 14 rebounds.
For coach Matt Wheeler, the drastically different outcomes showcased his team’s potential — and also how far it has to go.
“I know we’re young; I have a lot of young kids and they’re talented,” Wheeler said. “We’ve got to learn how to bring it each day, each possession. It’s a process.”
Wheeler noted Olympia’s zone defense, normally a strength, looked slow against Lake Brantley. Although he knows his kids need to work on consistency, he also feels the win over The First Academy (2-1) is a boost ahead of a game Dec. 4 at West Orange.
“(Beating The First Academy) brought some confidence, but we still can’t just show up and play — we have to do all the little things, each game,” Wheeler said. “We were more ready to play at the beginning, and defensively, we communicated a little better.”
Of the Titans’ many underclassmen, Ronaldo Segu’s success should be pivotal. Segu picked up an offer from Florida State, and with the increased attention from recruiters, so too has come increased attention from opposing teams for the sophomore.
Against the Royals, Segu shined with 23 points and seven rebounds, but against the Patriots he amassed just seven points and five rebounds.
Still, there is a lot to be excited about with the young Titans standout and his teammates.
“From this year to last year, (Segu is) a lot more comfortable getting in the paint,” Wheeler said. “They’re putting a lot of pressure on him, and he’s just got to make sure he takes good shots.”
Contact Steven Ryzewski at [email protected].