Florida Prep Captures Class 2A State Girls Basketball Crown With Dominating 67-35 Win

By  //  February 26, 2019

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JAYLA jOHNSON SCORES 22; RISCH, SORRENTINO REGISTER DOUBLE-DOUBLES IN TITLE WIN

Eighth-grader Emma Risch, head coach EJ Murray, sophomore Aleaha Sorrentino, and senior Jayla Johnson speak with the media following the Florida Prep Lady Falcons win in the state championship game. (FHSAA image)

BREVARD COUNTY • LAKELAND, FLORIDA – When the Florida Prep Falcons were defeated, 80-38 by Miami Country Day, the No. 4 ranked team in the country in mid-January, head coach EJ Murray told Space Coast Daily the lessons learned in that loss and the previous eight defeats would serve his team well as the season progressed.

Coach Murray couldn’t have been more correct and on Tuesday afternoon his Lady Falcons captured their first-ever girls state basketball championship with a dominating 67-35 win over Tampa’s Bayshore Christian.

Just like the final 13 games of the season, this contest wasn’t close.

Florida Prep led 24-7 after the first quarter but Bayshore Christian fought valiantly as they hung tough losing the second quarter 17-15 but still trailed 41-22 at the half.

The Lady Falcons would stretch their lead to 59-30 after three quarters en route to the 32-point win.

Senior and FACA District 12 Player of the Year, Jayla Johnson, led all scorers with 22-points on 9-of-16 shooting.

Two Lady Falcons notched double-doubles in the championship contest.

Eighth-grader, Emma Risch racked up 17-points and 11-rebounds while sophomore Aleah Sorrentino hit her double-double with 16-points and 10 boards.

Senior and FACA District 12 Player of the Year, Jayla Johnson, guards her opponent as she led all scorers with 22-points on 9-of-16 shooting. (FHSAA image)

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Florida Prep finishes the season winning 18 of their final 19 games.

Since entering the postseason back on Feb. 5 the Lady Falcons have defeated their opponents by an average margin of 48 points and on three occasions held the opposing team to under 20 total points for the game.

In fact, Florida Prep reached the title game with a 60-point, 77-17 win in the state semifinal over Aucilla Christian on Monday.

Expect this result to be the norm moving forward for second-year head coach EJ Murray and his Lady Falcons. The FACA District 12 Coach of the Year reached this point by using a tough early season schedule to mold a very talented but young roster.

Murray also returns every player except for one.

“This was more than one state championship for us, ” said Murray after the game talking with Space Coast Daily. “This year we laid the foundation for us to take steps to become one of the best teams and programs in the state and country.”

Jayla Johnson is the only senior on the team and guard, Antonia Alexe, the only junior and six of the rosters 11 players are seventh or eighth graders, including the teams second leading scorer, Emma Risch.

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Murray’s team played arguably one of the toughest schedules in the country from Thanksgiving until mid-January. After losing to Shipley from Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania on Dec.27, the Lady Falcons dropped to 4-8.

The record was misleading as Florida Prep played in several of the nations top holiday tournaments including the She’s Got Game Tournament in Washington, D.C. and the Nike Tournament of Champions in Phoenix, Arizona.

The Lady Falcons finished 1-6 in those two tournaments but the experience gained proved to be immeasurable.

Jayla Johnson is the only senior on the team and guard, Antonia Alexe, the only junior and six of the rosters 11 players are seventh or eighth graders, including the teams second leading scorer, Emma Risch.

The Lady Falcons are the first Brevard County girls basketball team since 2009 to win a state championship when the Astronaut War Eagles won the Class 4A title.

Florida Prep delivered the ninth girls basketball title to Brevard County, becoming the seventh area team to capture an FHSAA girls basketball crown.

Stats courtesy of the FHSAA.

VISITOR: 2A - Florida Prep (21 - 9)
                          TOT-FG  3-PT           REBOUNDS  
NO PLAYER               P FG FGA FG FGA FT FTA OFF DEF TOT PF TP  A TO BK  S    MIN
 3 Alexe, Antonia       F  2   8  1   3  0   0   0   2   2  3  5  0  2  1  1  26:10
 1 Johnson, Jayla       G  9  16  0   0  4   4   2   0   2  2 22  4  4  0  8  30:43
 2 Risch, Emma          G  6  11  5   7  0   0   5   6  11  1 17  4  2  0  2  25:14
22 Sorrentino, Aleah    G  8  12  0   0  0   0   4  10  14  2 16  2  3  4  1  22:42
24 Rolle, Ashaunti      G  0   3  0   3  3   4   1   1   2  4  3  0  0  0  0  20:39
 4 Waldon, Alonya          0   1  0   0  0   0   0   0   0  1  0  1  1  0  1  12:08
11 Hagy, Katelynn          0   0  0   0  0   0   1   1   2  0  0  0  0  0  0   6:54
12 Smith, Peyton           0   0  0   0  0   0   0   0   0  0  0  0  0  0  0   3:02
21 King, Tyra              0   0  0   0  0   0   0   0   0  0  0  0  0  0  0   2:10
32 McDonald, Paige         2   2  0   0  0   0   0   4   4  2  4  0  2  1  0  10:18
TEAM REBOUNDS                                    0   3   3           0          
Team Totals               27  53  6  13  7   8  13  27  40 15 67 11 14  6 13    160

Total FG%  - 1st: 18/30  0.600  2nd:  9/23  0.391  Game:  0.509         Deadball
3-PT FG%   - 1st:  5/10  0.500  2nd:   1/3  0.333  Game:  0.462         Rebounds
Total FT%  - 1st:  0/0   0.000  2nd:   7/8  0.875  Game:  0.875           (1,0) 

HOME: 2A - Bayshore Christian (26 - 1)
                          TOT-FG  3-PT           REBOUNDS  
NO PLAYER               P FG FGA FG FGA FT FTA OFF DEF TOT PF TP  A TO BK  S    MIN
11 Bell, Sierra         F  3   7  0   0  0   0   0   3   3  0  6  0  2  0  0  24:56
 2 Royal, Ari           G  0   2  0   0  0   0   1   1   2  2  0  0  0  0  0  18:35
 4 Zamora, Domenica     G  6  12  1   3  3   3   1   1   2  3 16  1  0  0  2  32:00
10 Limongi, Fabiana     G  4  14  1   5  4   5   1   1   2  0 13  2  8  0  0  32:00
12 Myers, Alexandrya    G  0   3  0   0  0   0   0   2   2  0  0  0  4  0  2  19:39
 1 Johnson, Tinnea         0   4  0   1  0   0   1   2   3  4  0  1  1  0  0  22:13
 3 Fuentes, Jessica        0   0  0   0  0   0   0   0   0  0  0  0  0  0  0   0:35
 5 Saunders, De'raya       0   1  0   0  0   0   0   0   0  0  0  0  0  0  0  10:02
TEAM REBOUNDS                                    1   3   4           0          
Team Totals               13  43  2   9  7   8   5  13  18  9 35  4 15  0  4    160

Total FG%  - 1st:  8/21  0.381  2nd:  5/22  0.227  Game:  0.302         Deadball
3-PT FG%   - 1st:  2/5   0.400  2nd:   0/4  0.000  Game:  0.222         Rebounds
Total FT%  - 1st:  4/5   0.800  2nd:   3/3  1.000  Game:  0.875           (0,0) 

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