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Nature Coast clamps down against Gulf's top scorer

BROOKSVILLE — In the span of a week, Wiregrass Ranch and Nature Coast have exposed Mike Quarto's Christmas wish list for all the North Suncoast to see.

More than anything, Gulf's sixth-year coach wants — make that needs — a consistent offensive threat other than Nicole Adams.

Six nights after Wiregrass Ranch held the prolific Bucs sophomore to a season-low 16 points in a two-point win, the Sharks (8-2) limited Adams to 13 — and only two field goals — in a pivotal 51-40 district triumph Thursday.

"We chased her all over the gym," Sharks coach Travis Lamle said. "We (chased) her in the bleachers, if she's going to get something to drink we'll chase her there. We tried to mix some things up just to try to confuse her a little bit."

Spearheading the harassment of Adams was junior Jen Marshall (16 points) and sophomore Brittany Johnson (seven), who guarded the Bucs guard in box-and-one situations, straight-up man-to-man looks and even some traps out of zones.

Adams' only first-half points were two free throws 24 seconds into the second period. She didn't convert a field goal until nailing a 3-pointer with 6:06 to play in the third. It would be her only basket from the perimeter.

"They did a nice job keeping the ball out of her hands," Quarto said. "They really sagged off a couple of our kids and forced them to become offensive threats. We've got to do a better job of that."

Five of Marshall's points came during a 9-2 run to end the game after two Adams free throws had cut Gulf's (6-2) deficit to 42-38. Marshall scored four during a 10-0 third-period run that gave Nature Coast a 34-22 lead.

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Nature Coast clamps down against Gulf's top scorer 12/11/08 [Last modified: Sunday, December 14, 2008 1:20pm]
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