BY GENE NARDI
The Royal Palm Beach High School boys varsity basketball team hosted two-time defending state champs Blanche Ely High School last Thursday night and fell to the Tigers 63-56 before a capacity crowd.
A week after the team won its first district championship in school history, the Wildcats’ season came to an end — but not without a fight.
Royal Palm Beach (20-8) put together a rally after falling behind by 12 points in the first quarter.
They clawed back to tie the game midway through the fourth quarter, grabbing the lead when Travis Weatherington shot a three-point basket to make the score 44-42.
But the lead was brief, as Blanche Ely took advantage of a series of Wildcat turnovers and recaptured control.
The Tigers did not trail for the remainder of the game.
The Wildcat defense had its hands full in the final quarter, as the Tigers converted most of the Royal Palm Beach turnovers into points. When the buzzer rang, the Tigers were ahead 63-56.
Royal Palm Beach finished the season winning the school’s first District 7A title, advancing to the regional tournament. Weatherington scored a game-high 24 points for the Wildcats, including five from the three-point line.
Marshall Riddle and Jonathan Horsford combined for 17 points.
ABOVE: Jonathan Horsford moves the ball up the court.