Thursday, March 03, 2011
CF Patriots 59, Brevard 56 (MBB)
Watch the Panhandle Broadcasting webcast of the game.
The Patriots (25-6) move on to a semifinal game Friday at 4 p.m. EST at Chipola, where they will face the winner of Thursday's semifinal between Polk State and Tallahassee. .
CF rushed to a 7-0 lead and pulled ahead by as many as 15 in the opening half. But the Patriots came out flat after halftime, failing to get on the board until Manny Dias scored in traffic just over 6 minutes into the half. The Titans carved into the lead in the meantime, moving within 3 points with 12 minutes to play.
Dias capped the Patriots' rally in response, making a steal in the backcourt and converting a breakaway layup to put the Patriots up 40-30 with 10 minutes to play. A persistent Titans squad hovered within striking distance down the stretch, finally cutting the lead to a precarious 58-56 with 3.5 seconds to play. Kevin Foster made a late free throw, and the CF press prevented the Titans from a potential game-tying buzzer-beater.
Slobodan Miljanic matched Mathiang Muo with a team-high 14 points and added a game-high 11 rebounds. Foster added 11 points and 7 rebounds as all three of the Patriots' first-team all-conference selections reached double figures in scoring.
The win continues a remarkable season for a new-look Patriot squad assembled in the wake of NJCAA Male Athlete of the Year Ricardo Ratliffe's graduation and transfer to Missouri. The group, featuring just one returning sophomore in Miljanic, proved to be a seamless fit, cruising to the conference crown that eluded the program a year ago and finishing the regular season ranked third in the state.