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6A-7 district basketball: Henson leads way for Sickles

TRINITY — Sickles ran Mitchell ragged 54-32 in the Class 6A-7 district semifinal Friday.

The first quarter ended tied at 9, but Sickles took the lead early in the second quarter and didn't look back.

"Anytime it's a loser-goes-home game there is some anxiety, and I think we came out tonight a little nervous," Gryphons coach Renaldo Garcia said.

"We had several players where this was their first district game and the atmosphere was different for them, but I thought that when we settled down we did a good job."

Sickles leaned heavily on senior John Henson, letting the big man do his thing. He finished with 24 points, including a 3-pointer, as well as five blocks.

Mike Francis was Mitchell's leading scorer with 11.

In the other matchup, it took St. Petersburg two quarters to shake off the rust from a seven-day furlough and two quarters to even the score with Countryside at 57.

But it only took the Green Devils' 7-0 run in the first 40 seconds of overtime to put away a high-tempo game 71-60.

"It is really hard being off for seven days," St. Petersburg coach Chris Blackwell said. "We had to turn up the intensity a little bit and just get back to what we do best."

Countryside took advantage of the Green Devils' B-game, pulling out to a 20-15 lead at the end of the first quarter and a 36-27 lead at the end of the half. The Cougars outhustled and outplayed St. Petersburg for two quarters, but it turned out not to be enough.

St. Petersburg point guard Allen Wilson controlled the second half with 16 points, four steals and obvious motivation.

"He just said that he didn't want to go home," Blackwell said. "He said, 'Coach let me go ahead and take this,' and I just let him do it."

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6A-7 district basketball: Henson leads way for Sickles 02/13/09 [Last modified: Saturday, February 14, 2009 1:18am]
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