Goal: Stay in chase


Published: Tuesday, March 1, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, March 1, 2005 at 1:34 a.m.
Two wins stand between three local boys basketball teams and the final four.
Tonight, Buchholz, Santa Fe and P.K. Yonge continue their quests for state championships in the FHSAA state playoffs.
The Bobcats (21-7) will travel to Winter Garden West Orange (21-8) to take on a team that had difficulties with area teams in the regular season, losing to both Eastside and the Raiders in a pair of in-town showcases this year.
Buchholz, the District 1-6A runner-up, saw Region 1-6A open up in the first round when defending state champion Orlando Edgewater was upset at home, 66-64, by Orlando Boone. That, coupled with Oviedo's 66-49 victory against Jacksonville Mandarin, assures that if the Bobcats beat West Orange, they will host the regional final on Saturday night.
In 3A, Region 1 Santa Fe (21-7) will host Havana East Gadsden (21-8), the same team that eliminated the Raiders, 75-50, from the second round of last year's playoffs.
That East Gadsden club went onto the final four, but should get a more stern test this season, as it was at home in 2004 and graduated multiple starters from that team. The Raiders, meanwhile, were very young a year ago and returned just about everybody.
A win by Santa Fe and a victory by Jacksonville Ribault (21-7) against DeFuniak Springs Walton (22-6) will mean the Raiders host Ribault in Saturday's regional final. A win by Walton would put Santa Fe on the road.
In 2A, Region 2 P.K. Yonge (22-6) will host Jacksonville Providence (26-3) in what could be the night's best game.
In Providence, the Blue Wave will be facing a methodical and patient team that gave high-powered Hawthorne trouble in last year's playoffs before the Hornets finally pulled away late.
If P.K. Yonge wins, it would host the winner of the Ocala Trinity Catholic (23-4)-nationally ranked Jacksonville Arlington Country Day (24-3) game in Saturday night's regional final.
You can reach John Patton by calling 374-5074 or by e-mail at pattonj@gvillesun.com.

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