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Pinellas girls basketball region semifinals preview

All games tonight at 7

6A, Sarasota (21-7) at St. Petersburg (19-4): St. Petersburg crushed Plant 64-35 last week and Sarasota beat Wharton 40-28 to set up a rematch of the 6A-7 final, a 50-41 Green Devils win. Guard Kamika Idom is St. Petersburg's top scorer, but point guard Kamyia Smith is another player who makes the Green Devils' offense go.

5A, Boca Ciega (27-1) at Clearwater (22-6): This is a rematch of last month's PCAC final, which Boca Ciega won 56-53 after fending off a furious fourth-quarter rally. Clearwater must find a way to neutralize Boca Ciega guards Latavia Dempsey and Tamara Taylor. Clearwater, though, appears to be peaking, particularly on defense.

4A, Lakewood (21-5) at Jefferson (26-3): In Lakewood's 72-37 first-round win over Spoto, Lakewood was sharp on both ends. Jefferson, however, will present a greater challenge. Like the Spartans, the Dragons play exceptional defense. Last week against Lakewood Ranch, they forced 27 turnovers. That means Lakewood point guard Latesha Johnson will have to be on.

3A, St. Petersburg Catholic (20-4) at Tampa Catholic (26-2): Round 4 figures to be a classic. TC won the season's first meeting and SPC took the second. Then the Crusaders rallied from 16 down to defeat the Barons by one in the district final. SPC guard Jerica Coley, who had 39 in the playoff opener, has been big against TC.

2A, Indian Rocks Christian (22-5) at Lakeland Christian: IRC must contain Lakeland Christian's Christin Strawbridge, who scored 30 in last week's 54-41 win over Tampa Prep. Guard Tori Trador along with forwards Rachel Burnett and Jessica Logemann are part of a balanced IRC offense.

A, Cambridge (16-8) at Keswick Christian (16-9): This is a rematch of the A-9 final, which Keswick won 47-42. In that game, the Crusaders got 18 points from Tori Hale and 14 from Cassie Foster. Foster led Keswick with 23 points while Hale scored 17 and had six rebounds and nine assists in the team's first-round win.

Keith Niebuhr, Times staff writer

Pinellas girls basketball region semifinals preview 02/15/10 [Last modified: Monday, February 15, 2010 10:08pm]
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