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Temple Heights wins opener amid upsets in Class A-9 tournament

TAMPA - Two one-point upsets highlighted the first round of the Class A, District 9 girls basketball tournament Tuesday at Bayshore Christian. Pathway Christian of Lakeland, the No. 9 seed, scored 15 fourth-quarter points to erase a nine-point deficit and take the day's first game from No. 8 seeded Riverhills, 31-30.

Amy Weldon led the Pioneers (4-12) with nine points and Jessie Ritchie scored five of her seven points in a pivotal fourth quarter.

Kendra Ballard of Riverhills (6-8) led all scorers with 12 points.

In the final game of the day, Elyse Baretz rallied No. 11 Vanguard of Lake Wales past No. 6 Beacon Prep of Lakeland with 23 points and the Panthers (3-9) won in overtime 34-33.

Baretz scored eight fourth-quarter points and four in overtime.

Cecily Lach's steal led to Beretz's game-winning 15-footer with 16 seconds remaining in overtime. Lauren Christian scored 19 points for the Eagles (7-10).

The day's other game featured No. 7 seed Temple Heights against tenth-seeded Bayshore Christian, the host team. The home-court advantage did not benefit the Faith Warriors, though, as the Eagles won 43-34.

Temple Heights took a 12-4 lead after one quarter and the Faith Warriors (1-15) could never recover, despite a game-high 18 points (including four three-pointers) from Cher Cornett. Jaimie Oppenheimer had 14 points to pace Temple Heights while Marissa Glover added 11.

Temple Heights will play Seminole Presbyterian, the tournament's No. 2 seed, in a 4 p.m. quarterfinal game Thursday at Bayshore Christian. Other quarterfinal matchups include No. 4 seed Berkeley Prep against No. 5 Lakeland Santa Fe at 2 p.m., Vanguard against No. 3 seed Lakeland Christian at 6 p.m. and Pathway Christian will play top-seeded Tampa Prep (18-2 and ranked No. 10 in the state) at 8.