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Dragons start strong in 3A-10

Jefferson High routed winless Plant 64-35 on Thursday night to reach the semifinals of the Class 3A, District 10 girls basketball tournament.

Jefferson (7-13) overcame a slow start against the Panthers (0-20) with a 27-5 first-half run. Latonya Miller paced the offense, finishing with 22 points. Tonya Matthews had 16.

The Dragons face Robinson, which had a bye, at 6 p.m. today. In the late semifinal, host Tampa Bay Vo-Tech meets East Lake, a 52-41 winner over Tarpon Springs.

Tarpon used a barrage of three-pointers to overcome a 25-20 halftime deficit. Maria Kourkoutis hit five of 10 shots from three-point distance and finished with 21 points. Andrea Fawcett added 15 points.

Missy McDevitt's 15 points paced the Eagles (7-14).

Tampa Prep, River Hills

move on in A-9 play

LAKELAND _ Tampa Prep and River Hills Christian breezed to victories in the first round of the Class A, District 9 tournament, at Lakeland Christian.

Holly Smiekel and Kelly Stewart combined for 29 points in Tampa Prep's 50-25 thrashing of Temple Heights.

"We had too many turnovers, more than I would have like to have seen," Terrapins coach Steve Johnson said, "but the team as a whole did real well."

Tampa Prep faces Lakeland Christian, a 49-31 winner over Bayshore Christian, in a semifinal at 6 tonight.

Dana Hall scored 14 of her game-high 28 points in the fourth quarter, enabling River Hills to pull away in its 59-38 win over Seminole Presbyterian.

River Hills battles Lakeland-Santa Fe in the other semifinal, at 8 tonight.

_ RICH HALL

2A-11: Berkeley Prep

batters Sarasota Booker

CLEARWATER _ Berkeley Prep dominated Sarasota Booker 70-48 Wednesday night, placing them in the Class 2A, District 11 semifinals.

Senior Carlyn Esslinger and junior Eileen Murfee led the Buccaneers offense with 22 and 20 points, respectively.

Clearwater Central Catholic stifled Tampa Catholic 60-28 in the late game. The Crusaders (11-17) trailed 17-13 after the first quarter but scored only two field goals in the second half.

"We played a darn good first half," Tampa Catholic coach Karim Nohra. "Unfortunately, we lack offensive punch."

Claire Roach had 21 points and Diane Jula 14 for the Marauders. Maria Mercedes led the Crusaders with 10 points.

The Marauders (16-10) meet Berkeley Prep (15-4) in a semifinal tonight at 8. The teams split their regular-season meetings.

"We played them twice," Clearwater Catholic coach Dean Soles said of the Buccaneers. "They're very big, and they are playing well."

Cardinal Mooney faces Palmetto in the 6 p.m. semifinal.

_ KIM LENNON

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