Florida Prep Lady Falcons Set to Battle Bayshore Christian for Class 2A Basketball Title in Lakeland
By Alan Zlotorzynski, Senior Editor // February 26, 2019
falcons enter contest riding 12 game winning streak
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 today, led by Jayla Johnson, the District 12 FACA Player of the Year and several more standouts players in Emma Risch and Aleah Sorrentino, his Lady Falcons will battle Bayshore Christian for the FHSAA State Championship in Lakeland, Florida at 4:30 p.m.
The Faith Warriors enter the title game 26-1 after defeating Miami Christian, 53-50 in their state semifinal matchup. Florida Prep enters today’s Class 2A title game with a 21-9 record.
Murray, in his second season as head coach at Florida Prep, is building a state powerhouse. The FACA District 12 Coach of the Year is doing this through the use of tough early season scheduling and youth.
Johnson is the only senior on the team and guard, Antonia Alexe, the only junior.
Six of the rosters 11 players are seventh or eighth graders, including the teams second leading scorer, Emma Risch.
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.
Heading into today’s title game, Florida Prep has won 17 of their last 18 games and are riding a 12 game winning streak defeating their opponents by an average of 45-points during those dozen games.
This includes a 60-point, 77-17 win in the FHSAA Class 2A State Semifinal over Aucilla Christian on Monday to reach the championship contest.
ABOVE VIDEO: The last Brevard County team to win an FHSAA title was the 2009 Astronaut War Eagles who captured their third crown under Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame coach Greg Hostetler in 2009. Hostetler’s War Eagles also won state titles in 2006 (4A) and 1991 (3A).
This is the Falcons deepest playoff run since losing in the state semifinal to Community School from Naples in 2011. The Falcons led 42-30 heading into the fourth quarter but were outscored 14-0 and lost 44-42 to the eventual state champ.
The Falcons are looking to become the seventh Brevard County school to capture a girls state basketball crown.
Six Brevard County teams have won eight state titles.
Cocoa (3A, 1979), Melbourne (3A, 1980), Satellite Beach (4A, 1983), Cocoa Beach (2A, 1988), and Melbourne Central Catholic (2A, 2001) have each captured a championship.
The last Brevard County team to win an FHSAA title was the 2009 Astronaut War Eagles who captured their third crown under Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame coach Greg Hostetler.
Hostetler’s War Eagles also won state titles in 2006 (4A) and 1991 (3A).
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