ST. PETERSBURG — In the first half of Friday's Class 4A, District 11 final, Lakewood looked nothing like the team that had rolled through its district competition in the regular season.
The Spartans turned the ball over and missed shots. As a result, Lakewood was down a point at halftime against Bradenton Lakewood Ranch, a team the Spartans beat by 34 three weeks ago.
Lakewood was in desperate need of a spark. Jenae Wilson provided it.
Wilson, a forward, had one of her best performances of the season, finishing with 11 points, 18 rebounds and 13 blocked shots to lead the Spartans to a 53-46 victory.
It was Lakewood's first district title in Necole Tunsil's six years as coach.
"I think we might have taken them lightly early on," Tunsil said of Lakewood Ranch. "We did a good job after that, fighting to get back in the game and taking control of it."
The momentum turned in the third quarter, when the Spartans outscored Lakewood Ranch 19-11.
Wilson, a Jacksonville University signee, was instrumental in the comeback. She dominated inside and her presence opened things for other players, such as Kayla Roberts (11 points) and Latesha Johnson (10).
"I think the intensity was there all along, but we picked it up more in the second half," Wilson said. "We were just missing shots. I felt like I had to carry the torch for this team and tried to do my part to get the district title.
"Now I think we're peaking at the right time, which is what we need to make it to states."