The J.P. Taravella Boy’s basketball team won their first District Title in School history following their 54-52 over Deerfield Beach on Wednesday night.
Taravella trailed by as many as ten points in the fourth quarter but played aggressively on the defensive end with both Jean Francois and Kerby Dumay each registering six steals despite the team in foul trouble late.
The turnovers that JPT created led to easy transition points. They were also able to make some stops down the stretch. Head Coach Brent Maffett was thrilled with his team’s performance and happy to win the first District Title in school history.
“It is a great honor as far as the school and a great accomplishment for these kids, Maffett said. “They deserve it and work so hard to achieve one of their goals this season and change the culture of their school.”
Leading the way offensively was senior Jalen McKenzie 20 points. Matt Dolce had a double-double with ten points and ten rebounds. Steven Mills, along with Dumay and Francois combined to score 24 points to round out the senior led starting-five.
Taravella improved their record to 16-5 and have won their last eight games they have played. They defeated Marjory Stoneman Douglas in the District semifinals for the second time this season and had a thrilling win over Coral Springs Charter in overtime on January 10.
JPT competed in the Kruel Classic in Coral Springs and won two out of the three games with the lone loss coming in overtime. However, they had to forfeit two district games against Coral Springs and Coral Glades this season and fell to Northeast High School and Pembroke Pines Charter, eliminating them from getting a one seed in the district tournament.
They were still able to secure the automatic bid into regionals for the first time. They will be playing at home on Thursday, February 20, at 7 p.m. With many district tournaments still being played throughout the state, JPT will not know their opponent until Sunday night.
- Matt Rothman is a 2018 graduate from Florida Gulf Coast University receiving his bachelor’s degree in journalism. He is now attending the University of Florida as a graduate student. Matt also covers the New York Islanders for The Hockey Writer, the New York Mets for Last Word on Baseball and Florida Gators Athletics for ESPN Gainesville.
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