Nature Coast is headed back to the state playoffs.
Once a perennial powerhouse, the Sharks slipped a little the past couple seasons. But a 57-23 rout of host Eustis in the Class 5A, District 7 semifinals Thursday showed they are back in contention.
Nature Coast (20-3) received stellar performances from center Lyndsey Pospisil and forward Courtney Crawford. Pospisil outscored the Panthers (6-18) by herself with 26 points. She added 13 rebounds.
“We did a good job of working it inside to Pospisil,” Nature Coast coach Emily Gore said. “We were in the bonus going into the second quarter and rolled from there.”
Crawford scored 11 and had a game-high 19 rebounds. The team was also guided offensively by point guard Carcy Bossey (eight points, nine assists).
“Courtney did a lot of good things for us defensively,” Gore said.
In her second season, Gore is proud of the team’s accomplishments in getting back to the playoffs, but her true aim is a district title. After Tavares defeated Crystal River in the other semifinal, the Sharks will get their chance Saturday against the Bulldogs.
“I set high expectations for myself as a head coach going into this season,” Gore said. “To get my first winning season and, hopefully, a district title would be great.”