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4A-9 district basketball: Spoto 64, Steinbrenner 56; Jefferson 59, Strawberry Crest 21

TAMPA — Spoto, paced by Chelsea White's 22 points, earned a berth in the Class 4A, District 9 championship with a 64-56 victory over Steinbrenner.

White opened Friday's game on fire, hitting three of her game-high four 3-pointers in the first quarter, while scoring 18 in the first half. Steinbrenner (15-7) countered with Alexis Wright, who tallied the first nine points for the underdog Warriors.

Spoto (17-7) trailed only once — 6-5 early in the first quarter — but had to hold off several spurts by the Warriors. After Gabby Sebastian capped a three-point play to tie the game at 44 near the end of the third quarter, Dominique Powell put Spoto ahead for good 46-44 right before the end of the third.

Just as White dominated the first half, Powell scored 15 of her 18 total points in the second half, including a stretch where she scored 10 in a row to give Spoto a 52-45 lead in the fourth quarter.

"Dominique was huge for us in the second half," said Spoto coach Mareka Davis. "She showed up when we needed her the most."

Spoto will face off in the final against Jefferson (25-1), which had no trouble in dispatching Strawberry Crest 59-21.

Laurie Beaty scored a game-high 16 for Jefferson, while Shayla Wilson chipped in 14. The Dragons' size advantage and experience proved too much for Strawberry Crest (14-12). After taking a 20-11 lead, Jefferson went on a 20-2 run to put the game out of reach.

4A-9 district basketball: Spoto 64, Steinbrenner 56; Jefferson 59, Strawberry Crest 21 02/04/11 [Last modified: Friday, February 4, 2011 11:56pm]
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