FORT MYERS — Lakewood began the Queen of the Palms Classic Tournament with plenty of disappointment for coach Necole Tunsil.
Tunsil watched the Spartans fall behind by 10 points in the first five minutes then lose 54-27 to Reynoldsburg (Ohio) in the Ruby Division of the 64-team tournament.
Lakewood trailed 15-5 after one quarter and 29-10 at halftime.
“I’m extremely disappointed, that’s about all I can say,” Tunsil said. “We just came off of a Christmas break, and from the looks of it, we’re still on break. It’s tough to take, considering the time we put into getting ready for the game.”
Lakewood gets a rematch of its opponent from last season’s state final today. The Spartans will meet Pensacola in a fifth-place game at 1:30 p.m.
Reynoldsburg, meanwhile, moves on to the Ruby Division semifinals and a date with Palm Beach Gardens Dwyer at 7 tonight. Dwyer topped Pensacola 58-57 in an earlier game Wednesday.
Seniors Shineice Beamon and Maya Madry each scored six for the Spartans. Kasey Drayton had five.
The play of Reynoldsburg presented no unique challenge for Lakewood, according to Tunsil.
“It was more our play than Reynoldsburg’s play that hurt us tonight,” Tunsil said. “What I saw in our players’ eyes was sort of like a deer in headlights. Reynoldsburg just put some pressure on us early, and we didn’t handle it well.
“The Lakewood team everyone saw tonight was not the team that has played so well around Pinellas County. Hopefully, we’ll take this and learn from it. I think that we’ll have a hard time rebounding from this one.”
Reynoldsburg was led by Aliyah Zantt’s 11 points. Shiloh Murphy had 10 and Adesuwa Aideyman and Alyssa Rice each had seven.