LAKELAND – Dunbar won’t get the rematch it hoped for.
Jacksonville Ribault ended the Tigers’ season the last two years and dealt the Tigers a 64-52 loss in the Robert Moramarco Challenge last month in Gainesville.
The two-defending state champion Trojans won’t be around to cause them anymore pain after turning the ball over four times times in the final two minutes of a 66-54 loss to Orlando Lake Highland Prep in a Class 4A semifinal Tuesday at the Lakeland Center.
North Carolina signee Destinee Walker and the 28-2 Highlanders won’t provide any easier of a road to the Tigers’ second state title in four years at 8:05 p.m.
“I think everyone wanted a Ribault-Dunbar matchup, but they haven’t seen Lake Highland,” Highlanders coach Al Honor said.
Walker lived up to her reputation as one of the top players in the state, maintaining her composure against a lethal Ribault full-court press late in a tie ballgame.
With the game tied at 54 with 1:21 to play, eighth-grader Koi Love, who finished with 16 points, buried a 3-pointer from the wing and Walker stripped a Trojan and followed with a layup and the foul.
Walker, who tallied 20 points seven rebounds, added another steal on Ribault’s next possession and knocked down two free throws.
“What can I say about Destinee Walker? She’s the real deal,” Honor said.
Jordan Lewis added 24 points for the Highlanders, who trailed by 11 in the second quarter and appeared on the way out of the tournament. Lake Highland answered with an 11-2 run to end the half to cut Ribault’s lead to 26-25.