By: Matt Rothman
After winning their first District title in school history last week, J.P. Taravella High School boy’s basketball team won their Regional Quarterfinal over Wellington High 64-62 on Thursday night.
The game was tied at 62, and with 3.4 seconds left in regulation, Jalen McKenzie was fouled and hit two free throws to give the Trojans a two-point win. Wellington had one chance to tie or take the lead but missed at the buzzer.
trailed by six points at halftime but managed to overcome the deficit and take a five-point lead late in the game. Kerby Dumay led the team with 14 points, and Matt Dolce hit a trio of three-pointers in a row to help out in an all-out team win.
Head Coach Brent Maffett was incredibly proud of the way his team fought and also for the great crowd they had in attendance at home.
“I have coached a lot at different schools and have been blessed to be a part of this, and it is great for the kids and the community to get that vibe back with this school,” he said.
Despite playing a team that won 21 games this season, the Trojans were able to pick up win number 17 on the year.
They will head to the Regional Semifinals on Tuesday, February 25, at 7 p.m., playing on the road at Forest Hill Community High School of West Palm Beach, who beat Palm Beach Lakes 73-63 in their regional quarterfinal game. Forest Hill will come in as heavy favorites with their 26-2 record, and also rank fourth in the State of Florida.
However, JPT has shown they can compete with the best teams around and hope to have a chance to play in their first Regional Championship game if they can grab a win.