Area Teams Take Part In Annual Palm Beach Shootout

Wellington’s Nicholas Toledo flies through the air to the rim for two points.

The Palm Beach Shootout basketball tournament saw 32 teams from all over the state gather during the winter holidays, Dec. 26 through Dec. 30, to compete in the third annual event.

The tournament provided divisions for both boys and girls, playing a guaranteed three games, including a championship round. The host venues were Atlantic Christian Academy and John I. Leonard High School.

Seminole Ridge High School’s basketball program competed in both divisions, with the girls taking third place overall, defeating John I. Leonard 50-40. The SRHS girls team defeated Tavares High School in the first round 38-34. Aneesha Cason recorded 14 points and eight rebounds. Jahnae Midget had 15 points and eight rebounds, and Lynzie Smikle tallied 12 rebounds and five points for the Hawks. Cason was selected for the all-tournament team during the competition, bucketing a tournament-high 28 points and grabbing 10 rebounds against the Lancers. The Hawks are 6-6 on the season.

The Palm Beach Central High School girls squad also competed and took seventh place overall, defeating Cardinal Newman 53-48. Shelby Ward had 14 points, Jasmine Malone collected 10 points and eight rebounds, and Yoslene Quiles contributed 10 points and eight assists for the 3-7 Broncos.

Wellington High School and Seminole Ridge competed in the boys division. The Hawks defeated Belleview High School in their first round but fell to Forest Hill High School and eventually settled for fourth place overall after a tough loss to Saint John Paul II Academy.

The Wolverines won the tournament championship for the second-straight year in a battle against undefeated Forest Hill, 70-58. Wellington first won games against Elite Academy and a thriller against Saint John Paul II 66-59, where the contest saw the lead exchanged several times.

That win propelled the Wolverines into the finals against the Falcons, both entering with unblemished records. Wellington won the trophy behind guard Bryan Williams and Nicholas Toledo. Williams was named game MVP with a tournament high of 20 points. Toledo earned all-tournament honors and had 11 points and 10 assists. Jonathan Philistin totaled 17 points and eight rebounds for the Wolverines, who remain unbeaten at 11-0. Forest Hill fell to 9-1.