Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Sports

District girls basketball: Strawberry Crest, TBT live up to expectations

DOVER — Tampa Bay Tech coach Reggie Lawrence said he and Strawberry Crest coach La'Tosha Lewis predicted Thursday's championship matchup nearly a year ago when the districts were first released.

"We said we'd see each other three times this year, hopefully four," he said.

Tuesday, their premonition came true as their teams earned 7A-7 district semifinal wins in nearly the same effortless fashion.

Strawberry Crest cruised to a 63-13 win against Brandon in the first semifinal of the evening before the Titans beat Plant City 78-30 in the second. The Titans (22-4) and Chargers (23-4) will meet for the third time this season in Thursday's championship.

Playing on their home court, the Chargers dominated Brandon (8-13) early, forcing turnovers and swatting Eagles shots. Brandon didn't get its second field goal of the night until just a couple minutes before halftime.

UCF commit Aliyah Gregory led Strawberry Crest with 22 points. Brianna Thompson had eight of Brandon's 13 points.

Much like their district rival did before them, the Titans scored a lot of points fast, beginning the game on a 12-0 run and holding the Raiders to 1-for-15 shooting in the first quarter.

The Titans, led by Brianna Thomas' 24 points, struggled with turnovers in the second quarter, but still led Plant City 47-18 at the half. Shayna Lawrence contributed a team-high 10 points for the Raiders (11-13).

None of the other four teams in the district besides Strawberry Crest and TBT finished with a winning record, so it wasn't a surprise the two will meet in the biggest game of the season to date.

Tampa Bay Tech might have lost to the Chargers twice — 64-51 and 73-49 — but Thomas thinks the Titans have learned from their past mistakes and can come out on top to win their third straight district title.

"We just need to work on turnovers and stuff, and we'll be good," she said. "(The outcome) could be very different."

Strawberry Crest, on the other hand, is looking forward to competing once again for its first district championship. The Chargers are coming on strong at the end of the regular season, beating five of its last six opponents by at least 37 points. But despite not being challenged much in recent weeks, Lewis isn't concerned about her team's ability to fight Thursday.

"I'm never worried about my team, because I know they're going to come out to play and I know they have stuff to prove," she said.

2A-7: Cambridge Christian beat Tampa Bay HEAT 38-18 to advance to Thursday's Class 2A, District 7 championship game against Academy at the Lakes.

The Lancers (5-14) led the low-scoring game 18-9 at halftime. Cambridge Christian coach John Wilson said his team shared the scoring duties so well that it made the Lancers tough to defend.

"They couldn't key on just one person," he said. "They attacked in their zone and dared us to make jump shots, and we hit some jump shots."

The last time Cambridge Christian won a district title, the Lancers' only seniors — Lexie Fisher and Natalie Fernandez — were eighth graders. And though the Lancers have their work cut out for them against Academy at the Lakes (15-4), Wilson knows exactly what bringing a championship back to Cambridge Christian would mean to his team.

"That would probably make their season," he said. "If we were able to pull an upset against them, that would be monumental."

5A-9: Spoto beat Robinson 43-41 to earn its first victory of the season and a region berth.

The Spartans and Knights, which, along with Middleton make up a three-team district, had met just once in the regular season, when Robinson (2-17) beat Spoto 46-40 on Dec. 19.

Spoto (1-15) will play Middleton (9-10) in the district championship Thursday.

Comments

High school scoreboard for Jan. 23

Tuesday’s scoreboardBoys basketballBoca Ciega 55, Canterbury 53Girls basketballBoca Ciega 65, Largo 19
Updated: 13 minutes ago

James joins exclusive group with 30K points

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — LeBron James became the youngest player ever with 30,000 career points, but LaMarcus Aldridge scored 30 to lift the Spurs over the slumping Cavaliers 114-102 on Tuesday night. James had 28 while becoming the seventh member of the...
Updated: 17 minutes ago
Lightning beats Predators in overtime

Lightning beats Predators in overtime

NASHVILLE — Steven Stamkos’ celebration said it all.The Lightning captain delivered an emphatic fist pump after his rocket one-timer clanked in off the crossbar, tying the score with just over two minutes left at Bridgestone Arena on Tuesday night. S...
Updated: 17 minutes ago
Lightning journal: Mikhail Sergachev a healthy scratch

Lightning journal: Mikhail Sergachev a healthy scratch

NASHVILLE — Lightning rookie D Mikhail Sergachev was a healthy scratch Tuesday for the first time this season.Coach Jon Cooper didn’t elaborate before a 4-3 overtime victory over the Predators, just labeling it a "coach’s decision."It was a bold deci...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Joe Smith’s takeaways from Lightning-Predators

Steven Stamkos is showing signs of snapping out of his slump. Stamkos, who Tuesday snapped a nine-game goal drought, had more jump (and four shots) Monday. On Tuesday, Stamkos had a slick setup on a 2-on-1 for Vladislav Namestnikov’s goal. Stamkos’ 3...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Wednesday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYCollege basketballMarquette at Xavier6:30 p.m.FS1South Carolina at Florida7 p.m.SEC; 1250-AMGeorgia Tech at Florida State7 p.m.FSF; 1010-AMBoston College at Syracuse7 p.m.ESPNUSt. Joseph’s at St. Bonaventure7 p.m.CBSSNNebraska at Rutgers7 p.m.Bi...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Two quick goals in second lift Penguins

PITTSBURGH — Dominik Simon and Jean-Sebastien Dea scored 76 seconds apart in the second period, fellow rookie Casey DeSmith made 34 saves and the Penguins beat the Hurricanes 3-1 on Tuesday night. Jake Guentzel added a goal midway through the third a...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Back on right path, Robinson High’s Byron Pringle hopes to impress at Senior Bowl

Back on right path, Robinson High’s Byron Pringle hopes to impress at Senior Bowl

MOBILE, Ala. — Byron Pringle understands how easily his life could have gone another way."I’ve been through a lot, but I’m very blessed," he said. "What happened in the past, it made me who I am today. It’s made me realize you have to value the thing...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Downcast Nadal hobbles out, unable to finish fifth set

Downcast Nadal hobbles out, unable to finish fifth set

MELBOURNE, Australia — Rafael Nadal limped off the court after quitting in pain early in the fifth set Tuesday to send Marin Cilic into the semifinals of the Australian Open, 3-6, 6-3, 6-7 (5-7), 6-2, 2-0.The top seed, who had been treated on his upp...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Senior Bowl journal: Washington State teammates playing with heavy hearts after QB’s suicide

Senior Bowl journal: Washington State teammates playing with heavy hearts after QB’s suicide

MOBILE, Ala. — Washington State QB Luke Falk and G Cole Madison began their practices at the Senior Bowl on Tuesday with heavy hearts, still reeling from last week’s news that Cougars QB Tyler Hilinski had committed suicide.They remembered their frie...
Updated: 2 hours ago