BRADENTON — With his team comfortably ahead 2-0, Braden River coach Steve Haugh decided to look at his future. It looked better than he expected.
Haugh inserted Andrea Zevallios into the lineup and the junior responded with a team-high 10 blocks, providing a needed spark for the Pirates, who were getting a little lethargic in their final game.
They finished with a 25-18, 25-13, 25-19 Class 4A region quarterfinal victory over Strawberry Crest on Tuesday. The Pirates, who extended their school-record single-season victory total to 25, will host Steinbrenner next week.
Braden River jumped out to a 23-11 lead in the first game and coasted until Strawberry Crest (13-4) made a little comeback. The Chargers took a 10-5 lead in the third game with Braden River appearing to lose focus. The Pirates seemed to wake up when they trailed 12-8 and outscored Strawberry Crest 8-3 to take the lead for good.