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The State College of Florida men's basketball team suffered through a difficult regular season, but the Manatees stand one game away from the state tournament after Saturday's 88-80 victory at Hillsborough Community College.
Deonte Hearns led the way for SCF (6-25) with 26 points and 16 rebounds. Braden River graduate Tre Bryant added 19 points, seven assists and six rebounds, and Nathaniel Johnson contributed 10 points and 10 boards.
The Manatees will visit Polk State College at 7 p.m. Monday with a trip to the state tournament at stake.
STATE COLLEGE OF FLORIDA -- The Manatees (12-3) won a trio of games on a weekend road trip to Tallahassee Community College. The Manatees won 4-2 on Friday night in a game that stretched to 12 innings. Ryan Valdes came into the game late and picked up the win after four innings of work. The SCF hitting attack was led by Manatee product Trevor Beeman, who went 2-for- with two RBIs and a home run. Alex Pinero went 2-for-5 with an RBI.
On Saturday, SCF won the first game of a twin bill 6-0. Starting pitcher Reggie McClain had a complete game with five strikeouts while giving up two hits. Manatees Sean Trent went 4-for-5, and Alex Pinero was 2-for-5 and collected two RBIs.
The second game went eight innings before the Manatees earned a 3-2 win with Devin Pellien getting the victory after coming in the middle of the sixth. The go-ahead run came on a single by Scott Williams in the eighth. SCF's Ryan Valdes went 2-for-3 and Sean Trent was 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs.
The Manatees' next game is a conference game at home against South Florida State College visiting from Avon Park.
INSPIRATION ACADEMY 8, MERCIDI 2 -- The Lions defeated a team down from Alberta, Canada, behind the six-inning, three-hit pitching of Cesar Bernal.
Danny Contreras, Currie Guavreau and Payton Jenkins each had two hits for Inspiration Academy (7-2). Jenkins drove in a pair of runs.
-- Herald staff reports