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Spoto picks up big girls basketball win over Plant

RIVERVIEW — Spoto won just five games last season. And even throughout the Spartans' impressive first half of this season, they were still in search of a victory that could validate them as a legitimate program.

Tuesday, Spoto was dealt a 15-point loss by district foe Jefferson. But the Spartans redeemed themselves Wednesday against one of the county's other heavyweights, beating Plant 53-48.

"In order for us to be recognized, we have to beat some of the top teams," Spoto first-year coach Mareka Davis said. "Plant is one of those top teams. "We're on our way. I think we'll get a little more recognition, and teams might be looking for us now."

Spoto (12-4) overcame a six-point halftime deficit and a sensational game by Plant senior Michelle Taylor to earn its biggest win of the season.

"I think it shows people that we can come back from a loss and we can defeat a team that's worth something," Spoto junior Brianna Thomas said. "We're trying to introduce ourselves to Hillsborough County and make a statement. We're going to gain respect, and we're going to fight for it."

Senior DeAndra Davis sparked the Spartans, scoring 15 of her team-high 19 points in the second half. That included going 6-for-6 from the free-throw line to ice the game after the Spartans broke open a 39-39 tie with 4:45 remaining with an 8-1 run. Thomas was also a dominating presence inside, scoring most of her 15 points on offensive rebounds.

Taylor, who had 32 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks, was 13-for-25 from the field, but Plant (9-6) shot just 22 percent from the field as a team. It was the Panthers' second tough defeat in as many days, including a three-point one to district rival Wharton on Tuesday.

"Offensively, we've just fallen off the wagon," Plant coach Carrie Mahon said. "We've hit a spot you don't want to be in in January. It's just disappointing we don't have more support for (Taylor) right now.

"We've got three weeks to figure it out."


Spoto picks up big girls basketball win over Plant 01/06/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 6, 2010 11:20pm]
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