CLEARWATER — Despite enjoying complete dominance over Admiral Farragut this season, Calvary Christian coach Brooke Sibert was convinced things could be different in Tuesday's Class 3A region semifinal.
Sibert stressed to her players how difficult it is to beat a team four times in a season, that the Blue Jackets would be even more geared up for this one.
But the Warriors were more convincing, easily dispatching their district rivals in a 72-30 victory that was so lopsided a running clock was used midway through the third quarter because of the mercy rule.
"Coach kept telling us that Admiral Farragut would put even more effort and apply more pressure to try to win this one," Calvary guard Carley Plentovich said. "We just had to be ready and it helped to get ahead early."
The Blue Jackets, who were in the playoffs for just the second time in school history, were still giddy after winning their first playoff game in last week's region quarterfinals to set up Tuesday's rematch.
But Admiral Farragut continued to suffer from the psychological barrier that stood in the way of getting past a rival. It started early with shots that were short.
Calvary (22-4), meanwhile, was hitting everything. Carly Plentovich and her sister, Savannah, combined to score 34 points to help the Warriors build a 47-13 halftime lead.
Carley Plentovich finished with a team-high 30 points, including six 3-pointers, before exiting midway through the fourth quarter. Savannah had 16 and Saje Schlatterer added 14 for Calvary.
Calvary has had little trouble advancing through the region tournament, winning each of its first two games by 40 or more points. On Friday, the Warriors will have their biggest challenge when they host Community School of Naples. Last year, Calvary beat CSN 47-39 to advance to the state semifinals for the first time.
"This is the game we've been waiting for this season," Carley Plentovich said. "We figured we would play Community School of Naples if we got to this point. It's going to be a big one."
5A: Familiar foe knocks out Gladiators
BRADENTON — Southeast beat Gibbs for the third time this season, 58-34 in Tuesday's Class 5A region semifinal. DeAngela Mathis had a team-high 16 points for Southeast and anchored the defense with her three blocked shots.
The Seminoles (28-1) held the Gladiators to just 10 first-half points. Senior Shalbria Murphy scored 17 points for Gibbs followed by Bria Bostick's 10.
The Gladiators (11-13) cut the deficit to 17-27 with 4:02 left in the third on a Murphy layup. Southeast answered by going on an 11-2 run pushing the lead back up to 44-21 to end the quarter.
2A: Keswick ousted
LAND O'LAKES — It took a little more than two quarters for Keswick Christian to find the key to slowing down Academy at the Lakes. Unfortunately, it was the running clock.
AATL seemingly could not miss in the first quarter, jumping ahead 34-5 in coasting to a 68-36 Class 2A region semifinal victory. The Wildcats (21-5) will seek a third consecutive trip to the state semis Friday when they travel to Winter Park International.
After a minute it looked like Keswick (21-9) might be able to hang. Then the Wildcats turned on the defensive pressure, causing 17 turnovers in the first quarter. Keswick committed 38 for the game. AATL, meanwhile, hit 15 of its first 18 shots.
Keswick actually outscored AATL in the second quarter and, to its credit, did not let the margin get any higher after the running clock went into effect with 5:15 left in the third quarter at 61-26.
Keswick had won five in a row, and 12 of its past 14 with only one of those victories coming by fewer than 22 points. In her final game, senior point guard Bonnie Bouvier had six assists to go with five points and five rebounds.
Six-foot junior Madison Span led Keswick with nine points and six rebounds. Another senior, Bekah Baxter, hit a couple of second-half 3s to finish with eight points and Rebecca Kiggins scored seven.
Times correspondent Darek Sharp contributed to this report, which uses information from the Herald.