Posted: 1:06 pm Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

Grandview Prep can’t escape Orlando Christian Prep in Class 1A semifinal 

By Jason Lieser

For the third straight season, Orlando Christian Prep ended Grandview Prep’s season in the state final four.

Orlando Christian Prep, which beat the Pride in each of the last two state championship games, beat Grandview Prep 59-33 in the Class 1A semifinals at The Lakeland Center.

Grandview Prep (21-7) held the Warriors to 6 points in the first quarter, but fell behind 28-20 by halftime and 47-25 by the end of the third.

“Early on, the game was going just like we hoped it would,” Pride coach Joe Dawson said. “It just kept snowballing. We really shot poorly and it’s a credit to them. We really couldn’t get good shots because of their defense.”

Pride senior Colin Gates, in his final appearance for Grandview Prep, led the team with 10 points. Ismaila Dauda, a 6-foot-9 center, scored 9.

“They packed it in zone and we had trouble getting it to I.D.,” Gates said. “We didn’t really get that opened up.”

Orlando Christian Prep (27-4) will face five-time state champion Jacksonville-Arlington Country Day in the championship Thursday. Arlington Country Day beat Summit Christian in Class 1A’s other semifinal.

Last year, Orlando Christian Prep ruined the Pride’s bid for a perfect season by winning 46-43 in the Class 1A state title game. Grandview Prep finished 28-1.

The Pride will graduate five seniors, including mainstays Gates, Eric Peterson and Gardner Michel.