The Marathon High basketball boys (20-8) walked off the court with their heads hung low Thursday night, knowing basketball season was over after losing to the Patriots of Florida Christian School, 78-72.
The District 8 champion Dolphins hosted the District 7-4A Patriots (19-11) for the Region 4 semifinals and throughout the game it looked as if Marathon might have a chance to win.
But some of the Florida Christian players towered over Marathon’s boys, with three-pointers being the advantage that put the Patriots ahead of the Dolphins again and again and allowing them to hold the lead the entire game.
In the first quarter, the Patriots got ahead 17-11. In the second, the Dolphins upped the defense, but the Patriots scored another 17 to the Dolphins’ 14.
Marathon was behind by eight points at halftime, 33-25. The Patriots scored 11 points in the first four minutes of the third quarter including a slam dunk and a three-pointer. By the end of the third, the Patriots were up 57-38.
The Dolphins put up a gallant effort through the fourth, scoring 34 points, but couldn’t get ahead and lost by six.
Florida Christian will go on to play District 7-4A SLAM Academy in the Region 4 final. Marathon coach Kevin Freeman could not be reached by press time.
After fighting their way through several challenging games and making it all the way to the Region 4 final game Tuesday, basketball season is also over for the District 8-4A Marathon High girls (11-10).
They were on the road to Miami Tuesday night and lost 61-31 to SLAM Academy (23-6) in the last game it would have taken to win for a chance at the state Class 4A semifinal game in Lakeland.
“This was a very successful season because the kids accomplished goals they did not know they could accomplish,” said coach Teresa Konrath. “One of the goals we set was to be district champions and we accomplished that, so it was a bonus when we went into the playoffs and won the first round. It’s quite the realization when you’re just one game out of the state tournament.”
SLAM Academy plays Miami Country Day Feb. 28 in Lakeland in the final four Class 4A teams.
Katie Atkins: 305-440-3219