TAMPA — Keswick Christian toppled tournament host Tampa Bay Christian 52-34 in the Class A-9 district semifinals Friday night, and Academy at the Lakes handled Cambridge Christian with ease 54-32.
AATL coach Karim Nohra sent his team out with the specific goal of shutting down point guard Rachael Bode, and the rest of the Lancers failed to pick up the slack.
Nohra was also delighted by the return of Vanessa Vincent, who hadn't played since Nov. 15 due to a knee injury. She finished with 18 points and was a key presence in the paint.
"That's an amazing performance from a girl who hasn't played in almost three months," Nohra said. "I thought we did well as a team defensively, but Vanessa's performance was particularly good."
Keswick shot the ball well but used a swarming defense to limit the Rams' key offensive players and create easy shots.
"Our game plan was to hold down their best players and make somebody else beat us, which I thought we did well," coach Karrmayne King said. "A lot of times our games depend on how we shoot, which tonight we did well. We can play with anybody defensively but if we don't shoot a good percentage we'll struggle."
The Crusaders showed a good balance of power inside with center Sarah Trill and outside shooting touch in point guard Cassie Foster. Trill finished with 13 points while Foster's ability from 3-point range and quickness defensively resulted in 21 points, four assists and four steals.
"I love the way they work together," King said. "They find each other really well. Sarah finished tonight and Cassie was shooting the ball really well. That's a big thing for us."
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