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Gulf's girls basketball program loses key senior

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Tue. August 2, 2011 | Andy Villamarzo

If losing standout guard Nicole Adams to graduation weren't enough, Gulf's girls basketball program has taken another hit with rising senior Leighlani Paselio's move to Hawaii. It was her family's decision to return to their home state.

"She told me about the second week of June that she was going to be playing her last couple summer league games and was going to be moving back to Hawaii," Gulf coach Mike Quarto said.

"I thought it was an odd time for the family to move with it being her senior year, but it was a family decision and we wish her the best. I'm very excited to coach this upcoming group and this is the most excited I've been since 2003. We're going to need players like Lexy Schulman and Kayla Kivinski to really step up and they have over this summer."

Paselio, a Times' all-North Suncoast first-team selection, averaged 14.1 points and 7.0 rebounds a game last season en route to helping Gulf to a 26-5 record. Adams and Paselio combined for 43.8 ppg (Gulf averaged 60.4 as a team).

Gulf's third-leading scorer a year ago, Hannah Kotzen (11.2 ppg), also graduated, leaving the Bucs with no player who averaged more then 5.5 ppg (Kivinski).

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