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Lakewood pulls away to top Venice in 3A-11

The Lakewood Spartans ran into two big problems early in theirsecond-round game of the girls Class 3A, District 11 tournament against Venice on Thursday night.

But the Terry sisters, Ruth and Dionne, who swatted away the shorter Spartans shots with ease in the first period, quickly found themselves on the bench in foul trouble. With them on the bench the Spartans (19-5) were able to regroup and then pull away for an easy 55-36 win. Defending state champion Lakewood advances to today's district semifinal game against Osceola, which defeated Bradenton Bayshore 62-50 earlier on Thursday. Venice finishes the season with a 12-16 record.

Host St. Petersburg will take on state-ranked Bradenton Southeast in today's other semifinal game scheduled for 7 p.m. In the Thursday nightcap, Bradenton Southeast (26-1), currently ranked 6th in the Class 3A state poll, rolled to an easy 57-32 win over Gibbs.

Gibbs (9-15) scored the game's first two points before watching the Seminoles launch themselves on a 24-2 run.

St. Petersburg stormed from behind to take a 51-50 win over Tarpon Springs in the day's first game. Shelby Shames led the Green Devils with 15 points.