TAMPA — Missed shots didn’t keep Blake and Robinson from making statements Wednesday night in the Class 5A, District 11 tournament.
Despite misfiring on a combined 94 field-goal attempts, the host Yellow Jackets and Knights earned regional playoff berths and a spot in Friday’s 7 p.m. district finale with almost identical victories. Blake (15-9) defeated Spoto (6-11), a team with only six players, 43-32.
Robinson (15-8) ousted Middleton (5-15) 43-35.
Blake missed its first 15 shots but never trailed as Dominique Brown scored 18 and Le’Area Wilkerson added 12. The Yellow Jackets overcame 17-for-67 shooting from the field by forcing 34 turnovers and holding Spoto to 33 field-goal attempts.
“We thought we were going to come in and blow (Spoto) out,” Wilkerson said. “But we finally calmed down, took our time and played our game. We practice a lot on defense, and defense is the key to winning.”
Ivanie Carswell and Jordan Pate each scored 13 for Spoto, which missed its final six shots after pulling with 37-32 in the final three minutes.
Robinson missed 44 of 62 field-goal attempts and 16 of 19 free-throw tries. The Knights also committed 26 turnovers, allowing Middleton to threaten after trailing by 17 early in the fourth quarter.
“I’m not happy with our free-throw shooting and our ball control,” Robinson coach Jessica Vitale said. “We have a lot of things to prepare for in practice to get ready for Friday.”
Deliah Autry had 21 points and Nika Wright 10 for Robinson. Feliciti Reid led Middleton with 16 points and Jackie Simmons added 13.