- October 27, 2016
The FHSAA announced its playoff brackets for Classes 1A through 8A Sunday morning via a webcast show that had Twitter abuzz with excitement and disappointment, depending upon which team one roots for.
Regarding teams covered through Observer Preps in Orange County's West, Southwest and Winter Park/Maitland areas, six teams made the cut — three of which are district champions that will host in the first round of the playoffs Nov. 10 and three of which earned at-large berths based on the points system (one will host, two will travel based on seeding).
Below is a list of the teams that made it, with first round opponent and other notes, in descending order based on classification.
All first round playoff games — whether regional semifinals (1A-4A) or regional quarterfinals (5A-8A) — are scheduled for 7:30 p.m., Nov. 10.
Regional quarterfinal: vs. No. 8 Spruce Creek (8-1)
The Wildcats are rewarded for a remarkable regular season with the top seed in a brutal region. Spruce Creek has just one loss, though, making it an above-average No. 8-seed.
The winner will face the winner of No. 4 Seminole-No. 5 Apopka in the regional semis.
Regional quarterfinal: vs. No. 5 Ridge Community (7-3)
Dr. Phillips' pair of losses cost it so far as a higher-seed in Region 2 was concerned, and as a result they have a strong first-round opponent to deal with in the No. 4-No. 5 matchup.
The winner of this game will face the winner of No. 1 Osceola-No. 8 Manatee in the regional semis.
Regional quarterfinal: at No. 2 Vero Beach (10-0)
The Titans earned an at-large playoff berth based on their points average, but have been rewarded with a tough draw in the first round. Vero Beach scores in bunches and allows just 8.8 points per game on defense.
The winner of this game will face the winner of No. 3 Riverview-No. 6 Gateway in the regional semis.
Regional quarterfinal: vs. No. 7 Buchholz (5-5)
The Eagles will play a home playoff game against a Buchholz team that allows almost as many points per game (26.9) as it scores (28.3 ppg).
The winner of this game will face the winner of No. 3 Lee-No. 6 Fleming Island.
Regional quarterfinal: at No. 4 Westwood (6-3)
The Hornets did not win their district but were still rewarded as the top at-large in 5A-R4 based on their points average. They'll travel to Fort Pierce to face Westwood, which allows 22.4 points per game.
The winner of this game will face the winner No. 1 American Heritage-No. 8 Merritt Island.
Regional semifinal: vs. No. 4 Melbourne Central Catholic (7-3)
The Royals earned the top seed in their region by going undefeated in consecutive seasons. Their first round matchup is no pushover, though — the Hustlers like to score and average 36.5 points per game.
The winner of this game will face the winner of No. 2 Oxbridge Academy-No. 3 King's Academy.