Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Girls basketball: Freedom 53, Riverview 51

TAMPA — A little more than a week ago, Taylor Emery — Freedom's lone returning starter — went off, scoring a career-high 41 to all but single-handedly deliver a big win to the Patriots.

Wednesday against Riverview, the win didn't come near as easily.

But instead of it being a one-woman show, four Patriots contributed at least eight points as visiting Freedom topped the Sharks 53-51.

For coach Laurie Pacholke, that's a victory in more ways than one.

"We can do what we need to do to put the ball in the hole," she said. "It's great on any given night I've got multiple kids that can really go off and hurt you."

Nari Garner led Freedom (11-3) with 18 points while Emery added 16. Bianca Igwe and Megan Clark each finished with eight.

The Patriots, who average 53 points per game, were held to just nine in the first quarter by a stingy Riverview defense. Freedom went into halftime with a 24-19 lead.

That would be its biggest of the night.

Riverview point guard Asia Royster came out firing immediately after the break, scoring seven of her game-high 21 points in the third quarter to help the Sharks (9-3) close in on their opponent.

Three times during the fourth quarter, the Sharks — who finished with five 3-pointers on the night — sunk one to make it a one- or two-point game.

Each time, however, somebody stepped up and scored for the Patriots. The savior's identity seemed to vary with every possession.

Pacholke said she was disappointed with her defense's play in the first half, but in the second, scrappy Freedom defense forced Riverview to take quick, ill-advised shots. Many of these shots — ones that could have either put the Sharks within striking distance or given them a lead —fell short.

Despite that, though, a Royster bucket with less than a minute to go cut Freedom's lead to two, and Riverview had hope when Igwe missed a pair of free throws.

With the ball in Royster's hands as the final seconds ticked off, the Patriots worked together on defense to stop two game-tying shots from going in.

It might not have been pretty, but the win was a joint effort by the Patriots. And to Igwe, that was the most notable thing about it.

"It wasn't what we expected at the end, but we all came together and came as one," she said.

"When it came down to it, we won because we were all united."

Kelly Parsons can be reached at Follow her on Twitter at @_kellyparsons.

Girls basketball: Freedom 53, Riverview 51 12/18/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 18, 2013 11:15pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Longest home run at Trop and Erasmo Ramirez's pitching doom Rays (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Kevin Kiermaier returned. The problem was, so did Erasmo Ramirez.

    Seattle Mariners first baseman Yonder Alonso (10) scores on the double by Seattle Mariners designated hitter Nelson Cruz (23) in the first inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, August 18, 2017.
  2. Rays journal: Kevin Kiermaier returns, Mallex Smith sent to Triple A

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It didn't take CF Kevin Kiermaier long to make his presence felt during his return Friday to the Rays lineup. Kiermaier pretended to have Mariners DH Nelson Cruz's first-inning line drive lined up even as the ball went past him to his right and to the wall.

    Tampa Bay Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier (39) flies out in the first inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, August 18, 2017.
  3. Rays vs. Mariners, 6:10 p.m. Saturday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Mariners

    6:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    This is a 2017 photo of Jake Odorizzi of the Tampa Bay Rays baseball team. This image reflects the 2017 active roster as of Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017 when this image was taken. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
  4. Bucs journal: Starting defense disappointed holding Jags to 1 rushing yard


    JACKSONVILLE — The Bucs' starting defense held the Jaguars to a total of 1 rushing yard on seven carries in the first half of Thursday's 12-8 preseason win.

    And its members were disappointed.

    Jacksonville Jaguars running back T.J. Yeldon (24) is thrown for a 1-yard loss as he is stopped by Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Lavonte David (54) and defensive end Robert Ayers (91) during the first half of an NFL preseason football game, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux) JVS102
  5. Jameis Winston's hardest lesson: He can't always save the day


    TAMPA — Ever wonder what in the world goes through Jameis Winston's mind when he tries to fit the ball in a keyhole as he is being dragged to the turf like he was during Thursday night's 12-8 preseason win over the Jaguars?

    Jameis Winston, left, tries to hang on to the ball as Jaguars defensive end Dante Fowler tries to strip it from him.