TARPON SPRINGS — The last time Seminole faced Clearwater, the Warhawks were able to challenge the Tornadoes for three full quarters before falling by 17.
Seminole will get another chance when the teams meet at 7 p.m. Friday in the Class 5A, District 11 championship game. But the Warhawks will have to play a lot better than they did in their semifinal victory Wednesday.
In an overtime game featuring missed shots, missed free throws and a bounty of turnovers, No. 3 seed Seminole got past No. 2 seed East Lake 47-46.
How did Seminole coach Hollie Nelsen describe the outcome?
"Ugly comes to mind," she said.
"We could not move our feet tonight," Nelsen added. "Our defense was very slow. It was one of the games you're excited you won, but wish it would have felt different."
Seminole (10-9) led East Lake (10-16) 24-18 at the half, but the Eagles outscored the Warhawks 25-19 in the second half to force the tie. In overtime, Alex Colon hit two free throws to give East Lake a 46-45 lead. Twenty seconds later, Seminole's Laurie Thornton grabbed an offensive rebound and scored the eventual winning bucket.
Allie Egger and Katie Gibbons led the Warhawks with eight points apiece, while Marlyce Meredith scored 14 for the Eagles and Colon and Alex Rawls both added 12.
In the other semifinal, Clearwater (20-6) defeated Tarpon Springs 56-12 with a continuous clock running in the third quarter. Tyra Bolden led Clearwater with 14 points, Latrel Kirkland had 11 and Victoria Cecil 10. The Spongers (6-15), led by Jenna Booth's six points, committed 30 turnovers.