Just minutes into their regional quarterfinal game against Fort Myers a week ago, the Melbourne High boys basketball team was trailing on its home court, firing up shots from several points on the court and missing.
Struggling could have been forgiven, because before this season, Melbourne had never won a boys regional playoff basketball game, going 0-13 since 1969.
“I think it’s first-round jitters more than anything. Everyone wanted their shot,” head coach Michael Soliven said afterward. “Fortunately for us, we all decided to calm down and play.”
What had been a team of individuals started working in rhythm and put away the Green Wave, 71-58. On Tuesday, the Bulldogs advanced another step with a 59-56 win over Martin County. Should they win on Saturday, the team that had never won an FHSAA playoff game just a week ago will be headed to the state tournament in Class 7A.
Three Brevard County teams remain in boys basketball, and the other two play tonight. Florida Air is home tonight against unbeaten Sagemont in a 3A regional final, and Covenant Christian is at Sarasota Christian in 2A.
On Saturday, Melbourne will play at Palmetto for a slot in the 7A state field.