Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

TITLE STREAK SNAPPED; Turnovers, Foul Trouble Derail ACD's Bid for Record Sixth Consecutive State Crown

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

TITLE STREAK SNAPPED; Turnovers, Foul Trouble Derail ACD's Bid for Record Sixth Consecutive State Crown

Article excerpt

Byline: HAYS CARLYON

LAKELAND - The gold standard had to settle for silver.

Arlington Country Day's boys basketball team had its dream of winning a state-record sixth consecutive state championship derailed by Orlando Christian Prep, losing 59-54 in the Class 1A final Thursday at the Lakeland Center.

"I want to congratulate Orlando Christian," said ACD coach Rex Morgan, who is now 5-3 in state championship games with the Apaches. "They played an excellent game. I'm sorry for our seniors. We've had so many great kids come through here. It's been a great ride, and it isn't over yet. We finished second. Nothing's changed. We'll go back and start again."

ACD won five consecutive state crowns in 2A before moving down in classification this year. OCP (28-4) has won three consecutive 1A titles. Earlier in the season, the Warriors defeated ACD 49-47 on Dec. 12.

"We did exactly what we wanted to do," OCP coach Reggie Kohn said. "Our guys executed our game plan perfectly. We had to take something away, so we tried to take away the inside since they were bigger and stronger than we are. We knew if they shot well, we'd get beat."

Several factors contributed to ACD's loss.

The Apaches (21-6) connected on 3-of-19 shots from behind the 3-point line. ACD also committed 20 turnovers, despite rarely being pressured by the OCP defense.

The struggles came after ACD scored the game's first seven points.

"It's hard to beat a good team with 20 turnovers, especially when they aren't pressing," Morgan said. "We forced 17, and we did press. I'd say three-fourths of ours were unforced. It just wasn't in the stars for us today."

Foul trouble also limited the Apaches. OCP got to the free-throw line 35 times, making 26 shots. ACD scored five points from the line. For the game, ACD was whistled for 14 more fouls than the Warriors.

"We wanted to press more," Morgan said. "We just couldn't because of the foul trouble. We were in foul trouble early. …

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