BRADENTON — Late-arriving officials forced the Class 4A, District 10 title game to start 35 minutes behind schedule Friday, and Lakewood and Lakewood Ranch came out flat.
But not Spartans guard Taye'lor Trotter, who scored 12 of Lakewood's 14 first-quarter points and led the Spartans to a 54-39 victory. The win gave Lakewood its second straight district championship.
"We came out and I kept warming up like any other game," Trotter said. "They left me open and I hit my regular shots."
"That's Taye'lor," Lakewood coach Necole Tunsil said. "She's a true competitor and doesn't like to lose at anything."
Trotter paced the Spartans in the first quarter but Kasey Connelly's five points allowed the Mustangs to stay within striking distance as they trailed 14-9.
The second quarter looked a lot like the first as Trotter and the Spartans kept the Mustangs at arm's length. Gabriella Diaz-Granados hit a 3-pointer to close the gap to 19-18, but that was as close as the Mustangs would get. The Spartans reeled off six straight points to lead 25-18 at halftime.
Lakewood outscored the Mustangs 16-3 over one stretch during the third quarter. Shineice Beamon scored eight in the quarter and Kasey Drayton pitched in four more as the Spartans built a 43-28 advantage.
Tianah Alvarado and Drayton shut the door in the fourth quarter.
Trotter finished with 20 points, four rebounds and four assists Beamon added 12 points and 11 rebounds while Drayton had nine points, eight rebounds and four blocks. Alvarado finished with eight points and nine rebounds.