Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Strawberry Crest girls aiming for first basketball playoff appearance

There's no secret about what separates Strawberry Crest from a first-ever trip to the girls basketball playoffs. The Chargers will have to beat Armwood next week in the District 6A-11 semifinals.

What are the odds? Based on what's happened this season, just about 50-50. The teams have split their two meetings.

"It depends on which team of ours shows up," said La'Tosha Lewis, who has coached the Chargers for all of their four years. "We're coming in on a high, though."

That they are: Since a 17-point loss to top district seed Sickles on Dec. 15, Strawberry Crest went on a 7-1 stretch with the only loss coming by a point in double overtime to Academy of the Holy Names.

And while the Chargers are starting to get more contributions from their entire lineup, junior captain Aliyah Gregory has been leading the way. Gregory is among the county's top players, averaging more than 22 points per game.

Sophomore Maiya Trigg would be the top scorer on a lot of other teams, averaging 17 points. Lewis knows those two will have to keep things going if the Chargers plan on playing past next week.

"Both of those girls know our success depends on them," Lewis said. "Aliyah is a natural scorer but she's also a floor leader."

Gregory had 19 points the last time Strawberry Crest played Armwood, a wild 40-37 win on Dec. 19. Armwood outscored the Chargers 17-1 in the second quarter to take a 20-11 halftime lead.

Armwood had won by 16 in late November.

Hence the "depends on which team shows up" line from Lewis.

The good news is Strawberry Crest has been its best version lately, and that goes beyond Gregory and Trigg doing their thing. Freshman front court player Terra Brooks is leading the team in rebounds and 6-1 sophomore center Nandi Jordan is third in that category.

Jordan had 10 points and Brooks hauled down 12 rebounds in an impressive win over Jefferson last week.

"Our post players are more involved, our defense is stepping up a notch. That's what we know we have to do, pressure 'D', attack and rebound," she said. "We'll see. It's do or die."

While the Strawberry Crest-Armwood district semifinal winner will have made the playoffs, there's the whole matter of trying to knock off tourney host Sickles for the district crown. Only once has either team played the Gryphons close this season, and that was Amwood.

"Sickles is just a solid team, everyone knows their roles and they play well together," Lewis said.

Strawberry Crest girls aiming for first basketball playoff appearance 01/24/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 23, 2013 4:57pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Starting at top: O.J. Howard becomes first Bucs rookie to sign


    The Bucs have begun the process of signing their rookie draft picks and they started at the top.

    Alabama tight end O.J. Howard has signed a four-year contract with a fifth-year club option with the Bucs.
  2. Hey, somebody really ought to write about this Aaron Judge guy


    He can catch, too.

    It's no tall tale.

    Aaron Judge, The Amazing Colossal Man, has come and gone, but not before he stunned the Rays with a diving, game-saving catch in the sixth inning of Yankees 3-2 win Sunday at Tropicana Field. The 6-foot-7, 282-pound Judge robbed Evan Longoria of an RBI double and helped …

    Aaron Judge stunned the Rays with a diving, game-saving catch in the sixth inning of Yankees 3-2 win Sunday at Tropicana Field.
  3. FSU, Gators, USF and Miami all in Athlon preseason top 25


    The college football preseason magazines are trickling in, as our Joey Knight wrote earlier.

  4. Bucs' Jameis Winston rising in fantasy football rankings


    We're still probably three months away from most fantasy football drafts, but it's not too early to appreciate that Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston has taken a major step up in the rankings entering his third NFL season.

    Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston is ranking much higher in fantasy football rankings entering his third NFL season.
  5. A new look at the top of women's tennis: It's wide open


    ROME — Asked Sunday if she believed, as the oddsmakers do, that she is the French Open favorite, Simona Halep dissented.