TAMPA — Jefferson rolled through its district this season and didn't miss a beat in wrapping up its second straight 4A-9 title Saturday night, dominating Spoto 76-42.
"It's a wonderful feeling," Dragons guard Laurie Beaty said. "As long as we play how we play we won't get beat."
"I got a bunch of kids that love to play hard and love to play defense," Dragons coach Tom Mosca said. "They love to work at what we do."
Jefferson opened with an 11-2 run and outscored the Spartans 22-2 in the first quarter. Beaty scored 13 in the quarter for Jefferson, which also forced eight turnovers in the first.
"We have to come out ready to play," Spoto coach Mareka Davis said. "That was unlike our team."
The Spartans played closer in the second quarter but the Dragons got six points from Shayla Wilson to take a 38-13 lead at halftime. Spoto came out of the locker room and scored 13 straight to close the gap to 38-26. The Dragons' Chantrell Frazier responded with six points to prevent the comeback.
"I told them in the locker room, 'Don't have a letdown,' " Mosca said. "Spoto made no run in the first half. We knew sooner or later they would get six or eight in a row."
In the fourth quarter, Dragons guard Jade Givens took over, scoring three layups and nailing a 3-pointer.
"We have to know we can win when the game starts," Davis said. "It's the first time here in our school's history and we did too much thinking in the first and second quarters."
Beaty led Jefferson with 19 points. Wilson scored 15 and grabbed 12 rebounds. Givens scored 13 and dished out eight assists while Frazier added 12 points. Brianna Thomas scored 10 points and pulled down seven rebounds before fouling out for Spoto. Chelsea White also scored 10.