Friday, January 19, 2018
Sports

Girls basketball: Freedom falls at buzzer in division final at Queen of Palms

FORT MYERS — Bartow guard Zykira Lewis scored a hefty share of her team's points Saturday against the Freedom girls basketball team, but none meant more than the final two.

Lewis dribbled from mid-court all the way in for a layup at the buzzer, lifting the Yellowjackets to a 49-47 overtime win in the Emerald Division final at the Queen of Palms tournament.

The Patriots tied the game at 44 with 1:12 left when Whitney Ivey hit two free throws. That turned out to be the last points for Freedom in regulation.

In the overtime, the Patriots were whistled for traveling with 10.3 seconds left, opening the door for Lewis, who finished with 26 points.

Taylor Emery had 25 points for Freedom. Both Lewis and Emery were named to the all-tournament team.

"This was a great game for us. The girls responded beautifully to pressure," Bartow coach Richard Murvin said. "This was a game we needed, not just because it was for a championship. We needed to win a close game against a really good team."

The final play was a normal one for Bartow.

"That was typical inbounds-pass play that we run a lot," Murvin said. "Zykira is pretty much the best player on our team, and she just took over. She has a lot of speed and just cut through everyone on the way to the basket."

Freedom led 6-0 but then just 10-9 after one period. Bartow started the second quarter with a 9-0 run to lead by eight, but a 3-pointer and layup by Emery in the final 35 seconds sent the teams to the half tied at 22.

Lake Highland Prep 64, Seffner Christian 50: At first glance, one might think Seffner Christian coach Greg Fawbush would be disappointed in going 1-2 at a major tournament.

But after sizing up the competition, Fawbush wasn't that upset after the Crusaders fell to Lake Highland Prep in the Diamond Division third-place game. Karrah Johnson scored 22 and Destinee Walker added 18 for Lake Highland.

"I'm pleased that we were able to play such great competition here this week," Fawbush said. "Lake Highland is probably a favorite, after all, to win the state 4A title."

Peyton Walker scored 19 for the Crusaders, and Sabrina Whiting chipped in 13.

"She is a very special player," Fawbush said of Walker. "She's good enough to score from anywhere. Lake Highland Prep can really shoot the ball. We came here and may have lost two of three, but I think we commanded some respect. It was more worthwhile than staying at home and dominating a local tournament."

In other games involving area teams, Tampa Bay Tech fell to the Community School of Naples 52-30 and Tarpon Springs lost to Fort Lauderdale Archbishop McCarthy 42-28.

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