Mainland Takes Girls' Basketball State Championship


DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - The Mainland Buccaneers girls' basketball team took home the state championship on Saturday, the first time they've done so in team history. They defeated the Broward County-based American Heritage High School in the FHSAA 5A title game.

The team fended off a last-second surge from American Heritage to hang on for their title, a feat chalked up to solid teamwork by Coach Brandon Stewart. "I couldn't write it up any better," Stewart said after the game. "I just appreciate every single experience that we're having."

Mainland had a commanding 57-40 lead late in the game, before soon seeing American Heritage rally back to a 60-57 score. It remained heated as the seconds ticked away, with the game culminating in a nailbiting 62-61 final score.

The championship game's outcome was as thrilling for Mainland as it was shocking for American Heritage; the Patriots came in as five-time defending champions. Now, the Mainland Bucs bring the trophy back home to Daytona, triumphant at last.