And then there were four: Mustangs storm into Lakeland
For the second time in three years, Lakewood Ranch will load up the bus and head to the RP Funding Center in Lakeland Florida. Tied late in the fourth quarter, Lakewood Ranch rattled off a 10-0 run, downing Tarpon Springs East Lake and clinching their second Region title in school history.
“The regional final at home, and having an opportunity to do it at home is probably the best feeling in the world,” said head coach of the Mustangs Jeremy Schiller.
Senior forward, Joshua Young knows this team has something special cooking this year.
“I think the thing that makes us the most special is that we have a fire, we don’t really give up. The East Lake game they went 80 percent from the three point line, and we just kept fighting and battling, and that’s what makes it fun to play,” Young said.
The Mustangs have won seven games in a row, galloping to a 23-6 record heading into the final four. “It’s been an awesome journey. I’ve been very fortunate to have the chance to coach some amazing group of kids. We will have as many practices as possible, leading into the state semifinal,” Schiller said.
Lakewood Ranch's opponent on Friday will be Orange Park Fleming Island. The Golden Eagles are 22-2, playing in a game at the RP Funding Center for the first time ever. Leading scorer for the Mustangs, Junior guard Keon Buckley, has felt a buzz in the air all week on campus.
“All the teachers asking about the game, all my friends are coming up, talking about the fan bus. They will fill one hundred seats. It’s going to be fun,” Buckley said.
Jeremy Schiller, in his eighth season drawing up plays for Lakewood Ranch, is strapped and ready for his teams next exam.
“It is no difference than a math teacher preparing kids for a test, ours is just in front of a couple hundred people, you know a lot of media attention and things. It is just our classroom. It has been an awesome journey with these guys, and so much fun.”