Charting last week’s developments in girls and boys soccer, as well as girls basketball, involved a few geometric concepts.
In other words, there were lots of points to add up and plenty of story angles to cover as area teams made their way through the Florida High School Athletic Association district tournaments.
Gone are the days when a district champion and runner-up in the aforementioned sports automatically advanced to regionals – with the exception of Class 1A in girls basketball, where the traditional model remains – and in its place is a playoff ranking system based on a formulated MaxPreps power rating.
District champions in both sports (Classes 7A through 2A) are rewarded with a top-four seeding in the regional quarterfinals. Non-district champions, however, had to rely on their power rating (once the district tournaments are completed) to potentially qualify for regionals as an at-large team.
Official postseason brackets were posted by the FHSAA last Sunday and below are the key takeaways. Check the FHSAA or MaxPreps website to confirm all game dates and locations:
* Winter Haven (Class 6A girls basketball), Lake Wales (Class 5A girls soccer) and Fort Meade (Class 2A girls soccer) celebrated district titles last week and will host opening-round regional games.
Winter Haven’s girls basketball team secured the program’s 12th straight district championship, outlasting Bartow 57-16 in last Friday’s Class 6A-District 6 final as Kayla Smith paced a balanced effort with 17 points. The Blue Devils (19-8) are the top seed in 6A-Region 2 and will meet eighth-seeded Bloomingdale on Thursday, Feb. 13.
Lake Wales’ girls soccer team had not played since Jan. 31 when the second-seeded Highlanders played No. 7 seed Tampa King on Tuesday in the regional quarterfinals. Results were unavailable at press time, but a win would send Lake Wales to the regional semifinals on Friday (Feb. 14) against Lake Minneola or Auburndale.
Fort Meade’s girls team, which posted a 1-0 victory over All Saints’ Academy in 2A-District 6 championship match last Thursday, is a No. 4 regional seed. The Miners opened Tuesday with No. 5 seed Tampa Carrollwood Day, with the winner facing Cambridge Christian or Circle Christian in the regional semifinals on Friday.
* Seven total programs from the following schools advanced to the regionals as at-large qualifiers: Bartow (Class 6A girls basketball, No. 5 seed; and Class 6A boys soccer, No. 6 seed), Auburndale (Class 5A girls soccer, No. 6 seed; and Class 5A boys soccer, No. 8 seed), Haines City (Class 7A girls basketball, No. 5 seed), Lake Wales (Class 5A boys soccer, No.7 seed) and All Saints’ Academy (Class 2A boys soccer, No. 8 seed).
Furthermore, Fort Meade’s girls basketball team reached the Class 1A regional semifinals as the District 8 runner-up. The Miners travel to District 7 champion Hawthorne on Thursday (Feb. 13).