After winning by six points against District 8 rival Palmer Trinity School Friday night, the Marathon High basketball boys (20-7) are moving on to the Region 4 semifinals Thursday at home.
“It was our first district championship since 2010,” coach Kevin Freeman said of the 55-49 victory over Palmer. “It was a great win for us. This was one of our goals at the beginning of the season and we accomplished it.”
Against Palmer Trinity, the Dolphins led 19-17 at the end of the first quarter.
“The second quarter, our defense started playing a little better, only limiting them to 11 points as Tommy Kirwan added two more three-pointers and Jamal Qualls had five points and we led 32-28 at halftime,” Freeman said. “Qualls got going in the third, scoring 12 points, and Steven Hernandez made his second three-pointer of the game.”
After three quarters, the score was 47-38.
“We went the first four minutes of the fourth quarter scoreless and Palmer came all the way back and tied the game at 47 with about three and a half minutes left,” Freeman said.
Then Jackson McDonald put the Dolphins up by two with a layup and Hernandez made a great defensive play and got a steal, he said.
“He converted on a layup to put us up by four with a minute left. Qualls hit three more free throws to seal the victory,” Freeman said.
Thursday at 7 p.m., the boys will host the District 7-4A Patriots of Florida Christian Academy (18-11) in the Region 4 semifinals.
A win would place the boys among the final four Class 4A teams at the state semifinal game March 7 in Lakeland. The state championship is March 8, also in Lakeland, at the RP Funding Center.
Marathon High’s basketball girls were on the road to Miami Tuesday to play in the Region 4 final game against SLAM Academy after closing out the semifinals Thursday night against District 7-4A Florida Christian Academy (11-9) at home, 52-42. Results were too late for press time, but a win would result in the girls playing Feb. 28 in the state semifinal game in Lakeland.
Katie Atkins: 305-440-3219