December 13, 2023

Mount Dora High Celebrates 1998 Basketball State Championship Team

2.3 min read| Published On: December 13th, 2023|

By Kyle Coppola

Mount Dora High Celebrates 1998 Basketball State Championship Team

2.3 min read| Published On: December 13th, 2023|

Yesterday Mount Dora High School celebrated the 25th anniversary of the 1998 State Championship winning basketball program when they beat Jacksonville-Ribault 55-48 for the state title. This was a terrific night highlighted by some amazing players who made a tremendous run and to date remains the last time Mount Dora High won a state championship basketball title.

The team in 1998 was led by former head coach Scott Williams. Coach Williams is now the head coach at Apopka High School and Williams was joined by current Mount Dora High Head Coach John Liptak, former Principal Nancy Velez and members of the 1998 basketball team at last night’s recognition ceremony.

Greg Brittian was a key contributor to the win and had 21 points during the game. Chad Boyd would also score 16 points. The two were dominant all game long. Mount Dora and Ribault were neck and neck at halftime with Ribault leading 28-27. The third quarter Mount Dora only scored 6 points and went into the fourth quarter down 38-33.

(MVP Greg Brittian stands top fourth from the left. Brittian would score 21 points in the 4A state championship game. Chad Boyd second row second from the left contributed with 16 points. The entire team made a huge impact during that entire 1998 season.)

However, Ribault’s lead began to evaporate with just 5:30 seconds remaining in the game. Greg Brittian hit his free throws and so did Chad Boyd. Mount Dora went on a 12-0 run in the final 5 minutes. With just 40 seconds left to play Mount Dora found themselves in front by a score of 51 to 48

The Hurricanes would go on to win the State Championship 55-48 in a thriller! Greg Brittian scored a game high 21 points and added 17 rebounds. He was awarded with the MVP trophy.

The 1998 Mount Dora Hurricane basketball team was full of impressive, hard-working young men who went on to win the State Championship finishing with an impressive record of 33-3. Those young men now returned to the court as grown men. It is honestly incredible that 25 years has already passed since this team took the state championship win.

(The 1998 Class 4A State Championship winning basketball team was honored for their 25th anniversary season. You can see the 1998 class 4A glass state championship trophy that used to be given out.)

Principal Marlene Straughan has been a big supporter of the Mount Dora Athletic programs the past few years. One of her goals was to return Mount Dora High to winning district and state championships across the many athletic platforms. We are beginning to see this happen.

Hard work has been done such as coach Cody Adkinson with the Cross-Country program. Kevin Gifford has had success and led the volleyball team to the FHSAA Playoffs and a district final this season. We also see the Football program back on the rise with coach Hutchinson doing great things over there. The past two years the football team nearly won district championships coming up just shy to Eustis High. The track and field, softball and other sports are also on the rise.

This 1998 team produced one of the best teams that Mount Dora High ever could have hoped for. Their legendary performance is still talked about 25 years later. We appreciate what they have meant to the Lake County community and congratulate each and every member for what they accomplished.

Go Canes!

Statistics and game information credited to Orlando Sentinel

Photo Credit – Mount Dora High, and W.T. Bland Public Library

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About the Author: Kyle Coppola

Kyle Coppola was born in Newton, Massachusetts and received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Communications from Curry College in 2016. After traveling to Florida on a family vacation, he decided he could not get enough of the warm weather and made the move from snowy Massachusetts to central Florida 8 years ago.

For the last decade Kyle has gained valuable experience in social media content creation, marketing and sales, writing, video production, sports announcing and even broadcasting for local radio stations, such as FM 102.9 in The Villages and FM 91.5 in Massachusetts. Every year he volunteers at The Villages Charter High School as a play-by-play sports announcer for the football games as well as a public address announcer for the basketball games, including the annual Battle at The Villages Tournament.

Outside the office Kyle is a husband and father to two beautiful girls along with their cat. In his spare time he likes to spend time with his family, travel, play golf and swim. He is also a huge sports junkie and even bigger motorsports fan and loves to attend racing events when he can.

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