MORE from our HomeTeam writers.
TAMPA — Gibbs and Academy of the Holy Names used their opening-round games as tuneups for a second-round meeting in the Jaguar Holiday Tournament.
Host AHN opened a 20-3 first-quarter lead and cruised to a 58-27 win against Tampa Prep. Gibbs had a similarly tame opening-round contest, defeating Land O’Lakes 50-24. In other opening-round games, Michelle Taylor scored 19 as Plant topped King’s Academy 48-34 and Nature Coast slipped past Clearwater 47-43.
The Gladiators put plenty of pressure on Land O’Lakes in their opening-round game.
With only a 21-17 halftime lead, Gibbs came out in the third quarter and streaked to a 20-6 run that broke open the game. Fahran Franklin scored nine of her 16 in that quarter as Gibbs excelled on both ends of the court. Shineice Beamon led all scorers with 21, 14 of which came in the second half.
As dominant as the Gladiators’ defense was in the third, it was stronger in the final eight minutes, allowing just one point.
“We were a little sluggish in the first half,” said Gibbs coach Angela Meiser. “We put the press on them in the second (half) and that led to turnovers and some easy buckets for us.”
Rod Gibson, Times correspondent