TAMPA — Sickles knew the drill. The Gryphons, who formerly played in the same district with Strawberry Crest, had seen the Chargers six times in the past two years.
Tuesday afternoon, that familiarity with its opponent paid of for Sickles (17-6, 3-5), as it beat the Chargers — one of the best teams in the state in Class 7A — 65-54.
Five Gryphons — Ty Thomas (19), Cierra Wheatley (12), Daniella Bohorquez (12), Kassidy Girdler (12) and Dessi Rembert (10) — finished with double-digit points. And though UCF commit Aliyah Gregory had 27 of her own for the Chargers (19-3, 10-0), Sickles’ game plan proved successful.
“What we tried to do was basically limit everybody around her,” Sickles coach Mark Key said. “We knew she was going to score …but we did a really good job of eliminating her and making her work for everything she’s got.”
Until Tuesday, Strawberry Crest hadn’t lost a game since Dec. 28, when it fell to Southeast in the final of the Willie Clemons Holiday Classic. It’s only other loss was to Armwood on Nov. 19.
The Chargers might be one of the best teams around, but Key wasn’t surprised about his Gryphons’ big win.
“We think we can play with anybody,” he said. “We can beat anybody any given night, we think.”