By Andy Villamarzo
Hernando Sun sports reporter
The regular season for girls prep basketball in Hernando County is finally over for most of the teams in Hernando County. Last year’s state semi finalist Weeki Wachee wasn’t able to get back to the postseason despite nearly winning 20 games. It’s not completely over for one other team however, as Hernando Christian has punched their tickets to the region final round. Hernando Christian will take their show to the road this Friday when they go up against a one-loss Keswick Christian bunch. The two teams have some similarities when it comes to on the court play. They only have a few common opponents amongst both of their schedules. Now both teams will meet for the chance to play in Lakeland. We take a closer look at the region final playoff match on tap for Friday night.
Hernando Christian (25-1) at St. Petersburg Keswick Christian (28-1): Could it be two years in a row that we see a Hernando County team reach Lakeland for the state semifinals? Weeki Wachee was able to make the trip on I-4 last year and it could be the Lions making that same commute. To do that, however, they’ll need to get by a very talented Keswick Christian bunch that’s only lost one game this season. The similarity is that both teams have only lost one game on the court this year, but Hernando Christian’s one loss came to an opponent that Keswick Christian defeated by double digits. The Lions fell 56-42 against Bishop McLaughlin during the regular season. The Crusaders faced that same team and were able to get by them 48-37. If Bishop McLaughlin is going to continue their winning ways, they’ll rely upon the scoring of Esther Jackson, who is averaging 16.1 points per game heading into the contest. On the other side of the spectrum, the Lions will need to slow down the production of Keswick Christian’s leading scorer Jakara Akins, who is averaging 14.8 points per game. The region final will take place at Keswick Christian and is scheduled for a special 5 p.m. tip-off. Winner will move onto Lakeland.