Sophomore Tarra Blackwell scored 20 points and junior Regina Larris added 14 Saturday night as Wildwood High blasted Crystal River 75-54 in the title game of the Class 2A, District 8 girls basketball tournament.
"We started off aggressively on the press, and that was the key," Wildcats coach Richard Hampton said. "We jumped on them early."
Wildwood (19-4) advances to the 2A, Region IV game at home Tuesday night. The Wildcats meet the winner of Saturday night's District 7 championship game between Dixie County and Newberry.
The press that Crystal River (10-13) used Friday night in stopping Lecanto was ineffective against the Wildcats. On the other side, Wildwood's Anna Weaver and Larris had six steals each as the result of a relentless full-court press and man-to-man defense. Hampton did not relax the defense until early in the fourth quarter, when he switched to a 1-3-1 zone. It was too late then; the Pirates trailed 64-39.
Senior Linnea James, Wildwood's top scorer during the season, was limited to 11 points. But it hardly mattered, as the play of Blackwell and Larris confounded Crystal River.
The Pirates were unable to get the deficit below 10 after the first quarter, although coach Jere DeFoor said his players never quit.
Lynette DeVaughn finished with 16 points, 10 rebounds and four steals for Crystal River. Quandra Whaley contributed 14 points, and Shameka Scriven had 11. Stacy Mayer, the Pirates' leading scorer, was held to seven.