PLANT CITY — After opening the game on a 10-2 run, Friday's contest looked as if Sarasota Riverview would waste no time disposing of Durant in a 52-35 victory in a district semifinal.
Sophomore Ashley Losch sparked Riverview by hitting jump shots, forcing turnovers, and overpowering opponents in the paint for rebounds. She finished with 17 points, three steals and 11 rebounds.
But the 11-point deficit at the end of the first quarter was quickly erased. Down 17-4 at the beginning of the second quarter, Durant roared back thanks to aggressive defense. Eryka Williams led the Cougars with 12 points, including nine on a 16-5 run that gave Durant a two-point lead going into halftime, its first lead.
The second half saw five lead changes within the first two minutes, but Riverview regained its composure and put the game out of reach toward the end of the third quarter.
"We turned the ball over one time in the first quarter and seven times in the second quarter," Riverview coach William Ivey said. "You can't turn the ball over and expect to score, but we did a much better job of taking care of the basketball in the second half and it showed."
Also Friday, Shytina Harley's 17 points were not enough to lead East Bay past Sarasota.
The Sailors were led by freshman Jessica Fischer (16 points) and sophomore Tylar Tracy (12) in the 55-43 win.