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Eagles, Knights win districts

Heidi Bush hit six free throws in the final 1:39 to lead the Brandon girls basketball team to a 44-38 victory over Chamberlain in the Class 4A, District 6 final at Gaither.

The Eagles (21-4) play 4A-6 winner Lakeland in the 4A-Region III game Tuesday.

"The first three quarters, no one stepped forward for us," Eagles coach John Mackey said. "With Patsy Vold being held down tonight, we had to have someone step in, and finally Heidi did in the fourth quarter."

Brandon started the fourth quarter with a 29-28 lead and increased the margin to 36-32 before Bush hit two free throws, giving Brandon its biggest lead of the night.

The Chiefs' Kim Green answered with a basket before four more Brandon free throws (two each by Bush and Vold) made it 42-34, pointing the Eagles toward victory.

The Chiefs (14-8) led 21-19 at halftime because of a 7-of-29 shooting performance by the Eagles, but a Theresa Vendetti jumper with 3:19 in the third quarter gave Brandon the lead for good, 25-24.

"Tonight was a team effort," Mackey said. "We have five, six, seven people that can do it _ we've been doing it all year."

Brandon held Chamberlain's leading scorer, Lanita Lucas, to no points and no rebounds in the second half and beat the Chiefs for the third time this year.

Lakeland surges

past Plant City in 4A-5

PLANT CITY _ Lakeland scored 25 points in the second quarter and went on to beat Plant City 73-53 in the Class 4A, District 5 final.

After Plant City (18-9) took a 15-9 lead in the first quarter, Lakeland (24-3) rallied to lead 34-30 at halftime.

Plant City stayed close through the third quarter, trailing 56-47 at the end of the period, but Iris Fleming and Chandra Reaves got into foul trouble in the fourth period. The Dreadnaughts went on a 12-6 run to finish the game.

"The foul trouble really was a big factor," Plant City coach Dan Pickern said. "With Iris and Chandra on the bench, we lost our rebounding edge. I had to ask smaller people to do the job, and it didn't work.

"But I think we lost to a better team. Lakeland shoots the ball extremely well, especially from the outside, and that was another factor."

Lakeland's Nikki Sullivan led all scorers with 24 points. Melissa Robinson added 17 points, and Jennifer Robinson had 14. Katina Lott and Fleming led Plant City with 16 and 14 points, respectively.

"I think we were very lucky to get their two big girls in foul trouble," said Lakeland coach Ed Hammerberg, who claimed his first district title in four years.

_ DAN KLEPAL

Robinson eliminates

Vo-Tech in 3A-10 final

TAMPA _ Robinson beat Tampa Bay Vo-Tech 45-34 in the Class 3A, District 10 final by playing tight defense and avoiding foul trouble.

Robinson (9-13) was paced by Aes Brown's 16 points and Keisha Parham's 11. Brown had 44 points in the two tournament games.

The Knights will play at Zephyrhills for the 3A-Region V title Tuesday. The Bulldogs beat Citrus 48-45 in the 3A-9 game Saturday.

"I'm just glad we stayed out of foul trouble tonight," said Robinson coach Rudy Toth, referring to a 52-50 overtime victory over Jefferson on Friday, when he was left with only three players at the end.

The Titans finished 8-13.

_ BILL CAMPBELL

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