Posted: 12:19 pm Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

Time changed for Dwyer-Fort Walton Beach state basketball semifinal 

By Jeff Greer

The FHSAA announced Monday that it was changing the tip time of Dwyer’s Class 5A state semifinal in Lakeland on Friday.

Dwyer (30-1) was originally slated to tip off against Fort Walton Beach (29-1) at 2:30 p.m. at the Lakeland Center. The start time was pushed up to 11:30 a.m., and the Class 4A semifinal between Tampa-Blake and Leesburg was moved from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30, Dwyer’s old time slot. The other Class 5A semifinal (Lake Wales vs. St. Petersburg-Gibbs) will start at 8:30 p.m. Friday night.

“The FHSAA always wants the maximum number of fans to see their teams’ games,” FHSAA media specialist Seth Polanky wrote in an e-mail. “The Association felt more fans would have the opportunity to attend the games with this switch.”

Fort Walton Beach is about 430 miles northwest of Lakeland (or roughly 7-8 hours by car) and Dwyer is 161 miles away. Fort Walton Beach did travel well to its regional final at Jacksonville-Wolfson, bringing about 200 fans, but this trip would be a little longer.

Either way, the games will not be televised live locally. Polansky said there had been some chatter about replays on television in the days after the championships, but nothing has been set in stone. For fans in central Florida, Bright House Sports Network will show the championships live on TV, although the Class 6A title will only be shown in the Orlando area.

MORE READING: AN INSIDE LOOK AT THE BOYS’ BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS

You can, however, follow me on Twitter for regular, up-to-the-minute in-game updates. I’ll also update a live blog with scores and stats for each of the three Palm Beach County semifinals (and finals, should they make it), so bookmark PBGametime and check regularly if you want to stay up to date.

The FHSAA will sell DVDs of the championship games starting about a week after the finals. Fans can call the FHSAA at (352) 372-9551, extension 170, or e-mail media@fhsaa.org about the DVDs.