Friday, January 19, 2018
Sports

Region girls basketball: Calvary Christian reaches 3A state semifinals

CLEARWATER — High-scoring games were a common occurrence for Calvary Christian's Carley Plentovich during the first two rounds of the playoffs.

The sophomore averaged more than 30 as she led the Warriors to a berth in Friday's Class 3A region final.

Against Community School of Naples, Plentovich did not extend her streak of 30-point games. But it wasn't needed.

This time sophomore Savannah Plentovich, Carley's twin sister, scored a team-high 31, including 17 in the second half, as the Warriors won 53-32 to advance to the state semifinals for the second straight season.

"I wasn't thinking about scoring or felt like I had to take over," Savannah Plentovich said. "I was just the player who happened to have a lot of points. It could have been any player. We just worked as a team and came through."

The Warriors (23-4) jumped ahead 19-2. But this was a game of huge runs, and the Seahawks had theirs in the second quarter to cut the deficit to 22-17 at half.

"We gathered in the locker room at the half, and I told them we needed to stick to our game plan," Warriors coach Brooke Sibert said. "We had to get back to playing together, playing controlled basketball and not having any letdowns."

The Seahawks worked the ball inside to Stephanie Paul, who had a team-high 11 points, and cut it to 29-26. But that's as close as Naples would get.

Calvary responded by closing out the third quarter on a 14-0 run that made it 43-26. For most of the fourth quarter, the Warriors played keep away as they tried to milk the clock.

With Calvary holding a sizable lead, Sibert called timeout in the final 25 seconds in order to insert senior Kasey Howard, a starter and key contributor before a knee injury last month ended her season.

Savannah Plentovich capped her night by hitting a layup before the buzzer sounded. "I'd have to say this is one of the best games I've had this year," she said.

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