With the high school basketball and soccer seasons now finished, it’s time to review the successes of the local teams, many of which had winning seasons with strong post-season runs.
In boys basketball, Wellington High School was the runner-up in its Class 7A, Region 10 district tournament. As the runner-up, the Wolverines were on the road for their regional quarterfinal game. The team traveled north to play the Vero Beach Indians, champions of Class 7A, Region 9, on Feb. 18. Coach Matt Colin’s young Wolverines had a great game, upsetting Vero Beach 57-49.
“Our guys went out there and executed the game plan to perfection,” Colin said. “We shut down some of their key guys and got them in foul trouble. We also learned from the loss at Forest Hill [in the district final] on how to put away a game at the end, and that’s just what our players did.”
That victory pitted Wellington against the William T. Dwyer Panthers in a regional semifinal game in Palm Beach Gardens on Feb. 23. At halftime, Wellington trailed by three points, 22-19. The Panthers outscored the Wolverines by three in the third quarter to take a six-point lead into the fourth quarter. Wellington responded with a 20-point fourth quarter, but Dwyer was able to match Wellington’s fourth-quarter surge, eventually winning 52-46.
According to Colin, his squad had a legitimate chance to win the game.
“I thought the game was very physical, which I don’t mind. I just wish we had stepped up and matched the physicality that the game was being played with,” Colin said. “It’s a message to the returners of the work they have to put in the weight room and on their own during this offseason. This game is physical as well as skilled. I think that if we could have rebounded better, we had a shot to win.”
Wellington finished the season with a record of 13-3. Dwyer went on to win its regional final against Coral Springs on Feb. 26, 70-54. They advanced to the Class 7A state final four in Lakeland on March 5-6. In Lakeland, Dwyer defeated Western High School to reach the championship game before falling to Dr. Philips of Orlando 54-46.
In Class 2A, the Berean Christian School boys basketball team had a successful run, reaching the district tournament final before losing to Atlantic Christian. As the district tournament runner-up, the Bulldogs played Grandview Prep in a regional quarterfinal game on Feb. 18. Berean lost 71-48 to finish the season with a 10-10 record.
In girls basketball, the King’s Academy squad had a tremendous season, winning its district tournament. As district champion, TKA hosted the West Shore Wildcats from Melbourne in a regional quarterfinal on Feb. 11. The Lions won convincingly, 54-28. With that victory, TKA advanced to play the Benjamin School Buccaneers on Feb. 16 in a regional semifinal match. It was a rematch of the district tournament final back on Feb. 5, where TKA prevailed 58-54. In the regional semifinals, Benjamin turned the tables and won 59-45. The TKA squad concluded their season with a 20-3 record.
In Class 2A, the Berean Christian School girls basketball team won its second district title in school history when they defeated Glades Day School 39-31 in the district tournament final. The Bulldogs won their next game, a regional quarterfinal, against Lake Worth Christian 46-13 on Feb. 11. Five days later, Berean traveled to Boca Raton to play Grandview Prep in a regional semifinal. In this game, Grandview Prep was the prohibitive favorite, but the Bulldogs more than held their own, only trailing by six at halftime. Berean cut that six-point halftime deficit in half after three quarters. Grandview Prep outscored Berean by two points in the fourth quarter, thus sealing a 33-28 victory. Berean finished the season with a 13-4 record.
In boys soccer, Wellington High School and Palm Beach Central High School met in the final of the Class 7A, Region 10 district tournament. Wellington prevailed as the district champs, but both teams advanced into regionals.
Wellington hosted William T. Dwyer on Feb. 17 in a regional quarterfinal game. The Wolverines defeated the Panthers 4-2. On that same night, Palm Beach Central lost at St. Lucie West Centennial High School 1-0. Three nights later, on Feb. 20, Wellington hosted Centennial in the regional semifinals. The Wolverines lost a tough battle 1-0 against the visiting Eagles.
Wellington head coach Chris Carrera was extremely proud of his team’s spirit that night and throughout the season.
“Every one of the boys gave me 100 percent effort and tried until the end,” Carrera said. “They never gave up trying until the last whistle. As a coach, that is all I can ask from my players. They never gave up. I was proud of every one of them. This group was very close, and they have already spoken about getting ready for the next season. I loved their attitude and determination.”
According to Carrera, who just finished his third year as the head coach, this was the first time in 18 years that Wellington’s boys soccer team had advanced to the regional semifinals.
Wellington’s final record was 8-4-2, while Palm Beach Central’s was 9-2.
In Class 3A, the boys soccer team from the King’s Academy won its district tournament by defeating the Oxbridge Academy 3-2 in extra time. That propelled the Lions into hosting a regional quarterfinal matchup against the talented St. Andrew’s School squad on Feb. 17. The visiting Scots jumped to a 4-0 lead by halftime. The TKA Lions responded with two second-half goals but fell short 4-2. The Lions finished the season with a 13-3-1 record.
In girls soccer, just as Wellington and Palm Beach Central met in the final of the boys district tournament, the girls soccer teams from both schools met in their district tournament. Just like in the boys match, the Wellington girls prevailed by a score of 2-1. Both teams advanced into the regional quarterfinals on Feb. 17. Wellington hosted Dwyer, and Palm Beach Central traveled north to play Vero Beach. Wellington fell 7-2 against Dwyer, while Palm Beach Central fell 1-0. Wellington’s final record was 4-7-2, while Palm Beach Central’s final record was 9-2.