Gallery: Wildcats leave for state playoffs


Elijah Russell gets a hug from Athletic Director Donald Tucker after Russell got a call that his football scholarship to West Virginia University was accepted right before the Forest Wildcats left on a bus to play in the FHSAA Basketball Final Four from Forest High School in Ocala, Fla. on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. Forest will face Bartow in their first game in Lakeland on Thursday. [Bruce Ackerman/Ocala Gazette] 2021.

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Posted March 3, 2021 | Photos by Bruce Ackerman

The Forest High School Wildcats on Wednesday left Ocala on their way to Lakeland where they will play in their first FHSAA Basketball Final Four since the 1972-73 season. The team earned their way to the Final Four with a victory on Feb. 26 over Lincoln High School for the Class 6A-District 1 Regional Championship. The team will play reigning state champs Bartow High School on Thursday.  Forest enters the game with 18-6 record, while Bartow is 19-4.  The game is set for a 6 p.m. tip-off.