CLEARWATER — As expected, Clearwater and St. Petersburg, the top seeds in the Class 7A, District 10, cruised past their semifinal opponents and will face each other in Friday’s championship game at 7.
The host Tornadoes, the top seed, led throughout in a 47-30 win against No. 4 seed Seminole. But Clearwater (20-6) needed a big fourth quarter before it could feel completely comfortable.
Ahead 30-25 going into the fourth quarter, the Tornadoes outscored the Warhawks 17-5 the rest of the way. Clearwater was led by Aja Jenkins (16 points) and Tyra Bolden (15). Seminole’s top scorer was Kelsey Geraghty, who had 12 points on four 3-pointers.
“Give credit to Seminole early on,” Tornadoes coach Tom Shaneyfelt said. “They played well. We did a better job in the second half of staying with Seminole defensively, getting into our transition game and getting the ball to the basket. We were settling for the outside shot way too much before that.”
In the other semifinal, the Green Devils, the No. 2 seed, struggled offensively in the first half before pulling away in a 38-27 victory over No. 3 seed Countryside.
St. Petersburg coach Tamika Coley sat some starters in the first quarter for disciplinary reasons. The Green Devils managed just five points in the first quarter and led 16-8 at halftime.
In the second half, St. Petersburg (13-9) got into more of a rhythm to thwart any comeback. Jordan Berenbaum, who scored 10, was the only Green Devil to reach double figures in scoring.
“We had a couple of kids that missed the first quarter and that changes the chemistry out on the floor,” Coley said. “But the girls were troopers and brought a lot of energy out on the court.”