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Five times fallen


There was no consoling Cambridge.

After five years of losing in either the region final or semifinals, who could blame the Lancers for sobbing more than 45 minutes at their home gym?

"It's so, so frustrating," said guard Stephanie Grace, who has played in the Lancers' past five season-ending losses. "Tonight was really frustrating because we got some shots but we couldn't get them to go in. I thought we had good legs, but for whatever reason the shots didn't fall."

The final result in Tuesday's region semifinal was Sarasota Christian 47, Cambridge 39 in a game that was tight until the final three minutes.

It was Sarasota Christian, however, that held the lead most of the night, controlling the tempo with strong ball-handling and passing, particularly passing.

"We knew Cambridge likes to press and cause turnovers," said Sarasota Christian coach Steve Fisk, who lost to Cambridge by more than 40 points in a region semifinal last year. "So we worked very hard on our passing, which is one of our strengths."

Sarasota Christian senior point guard Sarah Kauffman did much of the damage with sharp passes to the post, where the Blazers got most of their points.

"I'd have to say this is the best game we've played this year," Kauffman said. "It was intense and we were on."

On the other hand, Grace talked about how Cambridge (22-3) "never got into a flow."

"Usually we get some layups and breakaways and get the momentum," said Grace, who finished with four points or more than 16 points below her season average.

"Only one time (when Cambridge built a 34-29 lead midway through the third quarter) did we really get it, and then, well, they scored a couple of quick points to get back into it."

By the time the third quarter ended, Sarasota Christian (24-2) led 35-34, a lead it never gave up.

"I know we fought as hard as we could," Grace said. "It was a battle. But it just wasn't our night. I thought this might be our year, but (Sarasota Christian) played well and we didn't make our shots. That's it."