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4A-7 district basketball: Gulf cruises; Mitchell barely fends off Ridgewood

Gulf will try to win its second district title in a row tonight after defeating Wesley Chapel 51-21 in Friday's Class 4A, District 7 semifinal.

Buccaneers senior guard Nicole Adams nearly outscored Wesley Chapel herself, dropping 20 points. Leighlani Paselio had 13 points, and Caitlin Corbitt added eight for the Bucs (24-4).

Top-seeded Gulf held Wesley Chapel leading scorer Hannah Noble to three points. Noble averaged 20 a game through the regular season for the fourth-seeded Wildcats (14-11).

"We did an excellent job defensively tonight on Noble," Gulf head coach Mike Quarto said. "We didn't probably play our best game offensively, but we held them in check. I thought as a team we did a really good job of giving help defense."

Brittany Byrd was Wesley Chapel's top scorer with 10 points.

Gulf will face Mitchell in tonight's final. The Mustangs held off Ridgewood for a tight 41-38 victory despite making just 9-of-38 free throws.

Mitchell (15-11) held a 10-point advantage entering the fourth quarter, but Ridgewood continually fouled the Mustangs to get back in the game, eventually tying it at 38-all with a little more than a minute remaining.

But the third-seeded Rams (17-9), which had three starters foul out, weren't able to take the lead in the closing seconds.

"Mitchell killed us with the second-chance opportunities," Ridgewood coach Matthew Rocha said. "We got in early foul trouble. We had a chance to win the game and missed."

Mitchell, the tournament's No. 2 seed, had three players —Danni O'Connor, Nina Argento and Caitlin Baggarly — reach double figures with 10 points a piece.

Mary Kujak went 6-for-6 at the free-throw line in the fourth quarter to lead Ridgewood. She led all scorers with 18 points and 10 rebounds

"(Kujak) was all over the glass," Rocha said. "She was definitely our best player tonight."

4A-7 district basketball: Gulf cruises; Mitchell barely fends off Ridgewood 02/04/11 [Last modified: Friday, February 4, 2011 11:29pm]

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