Albert Hernandez scored 23 points to lead Southwest past visiting Columbus, 57-56, and capture a spot in the district 15 tournament. The Eagles (12-9, 6-6) finish the district schedule tied with Ferguson for third place, but the Falcons win the tiebreaker (see separate story below). The victory guarantees the senior class two consecutive winning seasons, the first senior class to accomplish this feat in 15 years. It is also the third win over neighborhood rival Columbus in the last four meetings. Southwest played one of its best games of the season in front of a packed house. The big men, Orlando Fletcher and Chris Murray, took control in the first quarter with Fletcher scoring 8 points and Murray tallying 6 as the Eagles jumped out to a 21-14 lead. Shooting guard Albert Hernandez scored 11 of Southwest's 13 second-quarter points as the lead was 34-29 heading to the locker room. The Explorers (12-10, 5-7) cut the margin to 41-38 entering the final period. Often the little things are the difference in close games and Saturday was no exception. With Southwest's lead still three points and 1:53 remaining, 5-foot, 10-inch senior guard Dayn Lopez pulled down a huge rebound of a missed free throw so the Eagles could maintain possession. Twenty-six seconds later, with Columbus driving to the basket, Murray drew a charge to turn an Explorers basket into a turnover. The Explorers had to start fouling to get the ball back and, in the final 1:09 of the game, Hernandez hit five of six free throw attempts to maintain the lead. Down 57-54, Columbus coach Henry Lorenzo called his last timeout with 11.7 seconds left to set up a final play. Inexplicably, the Explorers drove for an easy 2-point layup with two seconds left but, with no timeouts, the clock expired without Southwest needing to inbound the ball. The Eagles have now won six of their last seven games. The scoring:
Albert Hernandez 23
Orlando Fletcher 15
Chris Murray 9
Justin Pratt 7
Dayn Lopez 3


Although both Ferguson and Southwest finished with identical 6-6 district records, here is why the Falcons win the tiebreaker for the number three seed and will face second-seeded Coral Gables in the first round of the district tournament while the Eagles must play top-seeded South Miami.

  • The first tiebreaker is head-to-head competition and since the two teams split their two games, this does not break the tie.
  • The second tiebreaker is the record against the #1 seed. Both teams were 0-2 against South Miami.
  • The third tiebreaker is the record against the #2 seed. Both teams were 0-2 against Coral Gables.
  • The fourth tiebreaker is the record against the #5 seed. The Falcons were 2-0 against Columbus while the Eagles were 1-1.




Albert Hernandez led Southwest with 23 points