It’s never a sure thing for any hugely anticipated matchup to take place in a state championship. Upsets tend to happen and can prevent the best of showdowns.
Two potential POWERADE FAB 50 showdowns to decide state titles are expected to happen this weekend in Austin, Texas and in Tulsa, Okla.
In Texas, the Class 5A crown probably will be worn by either FAB 50 No. 5 Marcus (Flower Mound, Texas) or FAB 50 No. 33 Fort Bend Travis (Richmond, Texas). Marcus is the defending champion, but won in its regional final by just one point (39-38) over South Grand Prairie (Grand Prairie, Texas).
In Oklahoma, the Class 6A title should be taken by either FAB 50 No. 23 Union (Tulsa, Okla.) or FAB 50 No. 35 Edmond Memorial (Edmond, Okla.). Union is the top seed heading into this week’s quarterfinals and are undefeated. Edmond Memorial, however, is the defending champion and many local prognosticators are picking the Bulldogs.
Two FAB 50 teams are meeting for certain in the Louisiana championships in Ruston, La. The Class 4A championship will feature No. 18 St. Augustine (New Orleans) against No. 45 Peabody (Alexandria).
In two other Louisiana state title tilts, FAB 50 No. 17 Scotlandville (Baton Rouge) is favored to beat McKinley (Baton Rouge) in Class 5A while FAB 50 No. 47 Riverside (Reserve) will take on John Curtis Christian (River Ridge), which has gone 2-1 in matchups this season, for the Class 2A crown.
FAB 50 Spotlight Player of the Week: Clide Geffrard, Ely (Pompano Beach, Fla.)
The 6-foot-6 senior forward saved his best for last in the Class 7A state championship game -- a 78-66 rout of Oak Ridge (Orlando, Fla.). With the win, the Tigers hoisted a title trophy for the first time since 2007.
Geffrard matched his personal best scoring output with a game-high 33 points. He also collected 14 rebounds, one shy of his personal best, and had four steals.
In the 62-29 semifinal rout of St. Petersburg (Fla.), Geffrard had 22 points and nine rebounds.
The 30-2 record Tigers closed the playoffs with 18 consecutive wins and moved up to No. 16 in this week’s FAB 50.
Highest-Ranked Newcomer: No. 41 Lone Peak (Highland, Utah)
The Knights return to the FAB 50 after a state title repeat and a three-peat next season shouldn't surprise anyone.
Three underclassmen led the Knights to a 22-3 record and second straight Class 5A state title with a 68-38 finals' rout of Brighton (Utah).
Two of the underclass stars are committed to Brigham Young -- T.J. Haws, a slender 6-foot-4 sophomore shooting wing who scored 24 in the finals, and 6-foot-1 junior guard Nick Emery, who netted 16 points. Talon Shumway, a 6-4 junior, contributed 13 points. The trio will be joined by 6-foot-8 transfer center Eric Mika, who was ineligible this season.
The Knights, who were 24-1 after winning the 2011 state crown, entered the season ranked No. 25 in the FAB 50 but dropped from the elite list after suffering their second in-state loss to American Fork (Utah) on Feb. 10.
Earlier, in the Beach Ball Classic in South Carolina, Lone Peak split decisions with two FAB 50 ranked teams -- beating No. 18 St. Augustine (New Orleans) and losing to No. 7 Milton (Milton, Ga.). They also defeated talented Whitney Young (Chicago).