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Girls region basketball: Even without starter, Lakewood cruises

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Thu. February 9, 2012 | Rodney Page | Email

ST. PETERSBURG — Before Thursday’s Class 5A region quarterfinal against Robinson, Lakewood coach Necole Tunsil suspended starting point guard Alexis Ungro. Tunsil said the suspension was not for breaking team or school rules; instead it was for her practice habits.

The Spartans didn’t miss Ungro against the Knights. Lakewood rolled to a lopsided 63-8 win to advance to Tuesday’s region semifinal at Bradenton Southeast. Tunsil said Ungro will be back in the lineup against the Seminoles, who edged Lakewood for the regular-season district championship. Ungro missed six games at the start of the season for the same reason.

“It was just something that needed to be done for this game,” Tunsil said of the suspension. “Just say it was Necole being Necole, that’s fine with me. But she’ll definitely be back on Tuesday.”

Lakewood (18-10) held Robinson scoreless until 1:31 remained in the second quarter, when Haley Collins hit a layup. Before that, it was mostly Kasey Drayton, who was scoring from all over the court and ended the half with 20 points.

Shineice Beamon also had it easy under the basket. She scored 11 first-half points.

“Kasey has been doing that for quite some time for us,” Tunsil said. “That was expected. And Shineice did good as well. Those two have been consistent for us. It was good to see the rest of the team match their intensity.”

Lakewood kept the starters in to start the second half, which was played with a running clock. After reeling off a 15-0 run to end the quarter, Tunsil emptied her bench and played her junior varsity team for the fourth quarter.

If there was any silver lining for Robinson (15-11), it held Lakewood scoreless in the fourth quarter. Drayton ended the game with 24 points. Jacquette Green added 11.

Tunsil said she is going to ask the FHSAA to change Tuesday’s starting time from 7 p.m. to 4 p.m. because of incidents between the teams this season. According to Tunsil, in a regular-season game at Southeast in January a Southeast parent was ejected for stepping onto the court to confront Ungro. In a Feb. 3 district game at Lakewood, another Southeast parent was ejected for the same thing.

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