Wiregrass boys basketball advances to regionals



Wiregrass Ranch High School boys basketball team posing with the district championship trophy after their win against Mitchell High School.

For the second time in school history and first in over a decade, Wiregrass Ranch High School’s boys basketball has won the 6A Region 4 district championship and will advance to the Regional rounds. They enter the regional tournament as the eighth seed and will host the number one seed Ponte Verde at the Ranch Feb. 16.

Ponte Verda has a long road trip from the coast of Jacksonville to arrive at the 7:00 p.m. tipoff. Senior co-captain Amari Jenkins has been a 4-year-player in the program with multiple years of experience in the playoffs. Jenkins is ready for the game against Ponte Verda.

“I feel confident as long as we go in and do what we do best,” Jenkins explained. “Then we should win.”

In a season faced with difficulty, Wiregrass matched up against Forest (Ocala) High School in their district run. During the early season, Wiregrass fell to Forest in a 20 point deficit. Upsetting them in the district playoffs was a pivotal point in the season.

Junior forward Tyler Duran blows by Mitchell defender during the district championship. (Gracee Juarbe)

“Beating Ocala Forest after losing to them by 20 in the beginning of the season was the toughest part of the journey so far,” Jenkins said.

Wiregrass continued this momentum into the district championship against Mitchell High School.

Similar to the Ocala matchup, Mitchell was seen as a revenge game as Wiregrass fell to them 84-78 just three weeks prior.

“Winning the district championship against Mitchell was a great experience especially after losing to them earlier in the season,” junior guard Tyler Duran said.

The boys basketball team is looking to continue their path of upset wins against one seed Ponte Verda.

“We don’t see ourselves as an eighth seed,” Duran said. “We just have to go out and do our thing Thursday night.”

An underdog story makes for one of the most memorable. From bringing home the second district title in school history to winning upset games again and again, Wiregrass looks to continue their journey through their regional round against Ponte Verda Thursday night. Bulls Nation hopes to see everyone at the hardwood to support your Wiregrass Ranch Bulls.