Cavaliers Basketball Halt the Explorers in Their Tracks For the District Championship


Humberto Govea

The boys basketball team on Feb. 12, 2021 defeated the Columbus explorers 69-52 in order to become district champions.

Anthony Russo, Sports Editor

The Coral Gables Cavaliers boys basketball team just achieved the unthinkable by defeating the Columbus Explorers on Feb.12 with a final score of 69-52 in the District 15-Class 7A Championship. This marks the first basketball district championship for the Cavaliers since 2016, along with it being the first one for head coach Mr. Govea.

Before heading into the season, getting to this point was merely a hope because once COVID-19 struck, the entire season loomed over uncertainty as practices were canceled and team activities along with them. But despite the unforeseeable circumstances, the Cavaliers always kept hope and showed even more as they opened their season, winning their first five games of the new season and even blowing-out the Stingarees in the process by 36 points.

The Cavaliers did end up reaching their first slump, however, dropping their next four out of five games. Although not ideal, the Cavaliers picked themselves back up and went undefeated for the rest of the season. After that, they were locked in and had their sights on one thing: winning it all.

“Our season has been according to plan so far. We lost a game against Westminster Christian but after that game, we have been perfect ever since. But the word championship says it all, that was our motivation to go out there and perform,” junior Daniel Gonzalez said.

Heading into the championship game, the Cavaliers held a 14-4 record and would face off against the Columbus Explorers, who held a 14-7 record. Early in the first quarter, the Cavaliers held the Explorers to just 4 points compared to their 15 which gave them an advantage early on. The second quarter was more contested as the Explorers outscored the Cavaliers 20-15, cutting the Cavalier lead to just 6 entering halftime.

The start of the second half was kept with the Cavaliers holding a steady lead throughout. With a lot of momentum shifts and energy going the Cavaliers’ way, they outscored the Explorers by 7 in the quarter which gave them a 13 point lead heading into the fourth. Because of this lead, the Cavaliers could feel victory was close and they were right. The fourth quarter played out as expected as the Cavaliers outscored the Explorers by 4, giving them the 17 point victory for their first championship since 2016.

“After losing how they did last season, I can see why they came back this year more motivated than ever. Especially given the pandemic, most teams would not have been able to do what they’re doing now,” junior Jacob Diaz said.

During the post-game, the Cavaliers celebrated their victory by heading into the locker room and dumping water on their head coach Mr. Govea. This was all a massive turn of events following the Cavaliers last year’s early exit in the postseason against Miramar in the regional semifinals. The Cavaliers were disciplined and learned from their mistakes in the prior season and their reward was greater than they could have imagined. The Cavaliers boys basketball team now faces up against the Palmetto Tigers in the quarterfinals on Feb. 18, for a chance to keep advancing in the postseason.