BROOKSVILLE — A promising season is starting to slide quickly for Hernando.
On the Leopards' home court, Land O'Lakes handed the slumping program its fourth loss in five games with a 67-32 blowout.
The contest was easily in hand for the Gators (14-3) from the start as Hernando (9-6) never led. In the first quarter, Land O'Lakes outscored the hosts 15-2 behind terrific point guard play from senior Shanel Sweet.
Sweet came into the game 25 points shy of 1,000 for her career. This did not escape Land O'Lakes coach Laurie Tyszko's attention. Sweet led the Gators on offense, creating in the post for Simone Brown (15 points, 14 rebounds), but when she had 20 points in the third quarter Tyszko pulled her to the baseline and told her if she scored again she'd be headed to the bench.
The coach sat Sweet for most of the fourth quarter in hopes that she would get her milestone at home Thursday against Pasco. The floor general finished with 23 points, five assists and 10 steals. She'll need only two points to reach 1,000 against Pasco.
"I knew that I was right there around (1,000) and had to get as many as I could," Sweet said. "I can't wait until Thursday."
By the time the Leopards' offense got in motion, it was far too late. Junior center Courtney Crawford led the team with 11 points, six in the fourth quarter. She also had five rebounds.
"I was worried about this game," Tyszko said. "We were surprised because nobody really played us (man-to-man) before, but our players do so well together, we handled it."