SARASOTA — Employing a press defense from the opening tip, Sarasota smothered Wharton en route to a 59-30 win in a Class 6A region quarterfinal Thursday.
The full-court pressure resulted in 11 Wildcat first-half turnovers — nine coming off steals.
Ahead after one quarter 17-11, Sarasota (19-8) stole the ball on five of seven Wharton possessions midway through the second, finally opening a 34-17 halftime lead on freshman Lauren Hochstetler's jumper.
"Top to bottom, one to 12, I don't know, it felt like they had 30 girls out there,'' Wildcats coach Chad Reed said.
Wharton (8-15) was missing starter Abbigale Kaczmarek (broken foot). The Wildcats, who got 18 of their 30 points on 3-pointers, were paced by Diana Mitchell with 15 points.