Sophomore Christine Plutta hit the front end of a one-and-one with 11 seconds left to help Lecanto win its first Class 2A, District 9 girls basketball title in a wild 73-70 win over Wildwood Saturday night. The top-seeded Panthers (23-6) will face the District 10 winner, either Clermont or Eustis, in the Region V game on Tuesday.
In Saturday's final 58 personal fouls and three technicals were called, 81 foul shots were taken and Lecanto may have been awarded two points that it did not actually score.
At the end of the first quarter the scoreboard showed the Panthers with 13 points, but it was 15 according to the official scoring book _ which did not coincide with the books being kept by both teams and three reporters covering the game. The change left Wildwood with a nine-point lead 24-15.
"Everybody in the gym had 13," Wildwood coach Reggie Rocker said. "It changes the way we try to play in the last two minutes." Wildwood made two free throws with 51 seconds left to close the gap to 72-70, but didn't score after that.
Eight players fouled out of the contest, including five for Lecanto and three for Wildwood, putting less experienced players in the spotlight in the crucial fourth quarter.
"Our whole season, we based everything we did on playing 12 people, trying to get to the end with a chance to win," Lecanto coach Ron Allan said.