OCOEE — The CFCA Eagles opened their regional semifinal matchup on a 28-0 run Thursday night and didn’t look back, soaring to an impressive 85-32 win over The Master’s Academy Patriots (Vero Beach) to advance to the regional finals for the second year in a row.
"We always tell the boys that warm-ups are the 'zero quarter' and once the tip goes up we need to be 100-percent, full-throttle," CFCA coach Jonathan McClintock said, reflecting on his team's hot start.
Bryce Street drained a three on the opening possession for the Eagles (26-3), which kickstarted the 28-0 run for CFCA. The Patriots did not score their first basket until there was 3:30 remaining in the first quarter, and the Eagles finished the first quarter up 42-4.
The Eagles went into halftime up 61-7 and — with running clock enforced for the second half — CFCA coasted to its 53-point win.
The Eagles had four players score in double-digits, with Daniel Rivera leading the way scoring 18 points. Jordan Preaster tacked on 17 points.
The Eagles will host the Florida Prep Falcons (25-5) Feb. 27 in the Class 2A Regional Finals — a rematch of last year's matchup, when the Falcons topped CFCA 45-40. The winner advances to the state semifinals in Lakeland.
"It's about the details," McClintock said, looking forward to the showdown against Florida Prep. "Basketball is about the details and we get three days to prepare and put in our plan and things like that. Details matter, the small part of the plan can make all the difference. ...
“We need to get ready to really be physical and compete that way because they’re long, they’re athletic, they play hard, they’re well coached,” McClintock added. “Our 'A' game, our best will allow us to be right there — but anything less than that, there’s no margin for error.”