University School boasts one of the top young frontcourts in the country with 7-1 center Balsa Koprivicia and 6-10 forward Vernon Carey Jr., both sophomores, while South Miami’s tandem of senior guard Zack Dawson and senior center Latravian Glover has the Cobras dreaming of a state title.
Dawson and Glover, who both signed last month to play at Oklahoma State, came out on top Thursday night as they led South Miami to a 69-60 win against University School at the American Airlines Arena.
“Pulling their big guys out of the paint and attacking them while they were out was huge for us,” South Miami coach Robert Doctor said.
Dawson finished with a game-high 22 points with Glover adding with 13 points. The win marked a huge step forward for the duo as they continue to recapture the chemistry they had before Glover missed last season with a torn knee ligament.The Cobras, who made it to the state final four last season, know they will need both at the top of their games to take them even further in the postseason.
“It was a great win for the team and a great win for us,” Glover said. “I’m glad I can be back on the court and take some of the pressure on my shoulders so we can bear it together.”
Doctor added: “They’re throwing alley-oops to each other, setting screens, getting assists for each other. It’s coming back.”
South Miami began pulling away with a big third quarter, holding the Sharks to just nine points and taking a 14-point lead into the final quarter. The Cobras’ lead swelled to as much as 20 points early in the fourth quarter.
Knowing this was the kind of venue and atmosphere the Cobras could expect later on in the state tournament, Doctor said he was pleased to see his team rise to the occasion to remain unbeaten.
“I told them that this atmosphere is what it’s going to be like at states,” Doctor said. “It was a great event for us to see how it is and show what we can do.”
Carey, a five-star prospect and son of former NFL player Vernon Carey, led the Sharks with 19 points, but Koprivicia was held to just a single point for the evening. Senior guard Michael Moore added 14 points in the loss for University School.