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GIRLS BASKETBALL

CLASS 3A STATE SEMIFINAL

WHO: St. Petersburg Catholic (27-2) vs. Miami Gulliver Prep (26-4).

WHEN: 4 p.m., Wednesday.

WHERE: Lakeland Center.

ADMISSION: $9 per session; $5 parking each day.

HOW THEY GOT HERE: St. Petersburg Catholic beat Sarasota Cardinal Mooney 58-20, Melbourne Central Catholic 65-44 and Academy of the Holy Names 48-43. Gulliver Prep beat Fort Lauderdale Archbishop Curly 50-22, Boca Raton Pope John Paul II 53-44 and West Palm Beach Cardinal Newman 44-36.

OUTLOOK: St. Petersburg Catholic, which has made the playoffs the past nine seasons, is in the state semifinals for the first time since 2000. The Barons have done it by relying on a trio of tall players, Robin Link (6-foot-3), Sasha Chaplin (6-3) and Katie Keegan (6-1). But they also have solid guards in Shannon McElhaney, Anna Keegan, Holly Janicki and Kate Carl. Link and Keegan are four-year starters. Chaplin and Carl are transfers who give SPC depth. Gulliver Prep won the Class 3A state title in 2003 under coach Gary Armstrong, who left the program after that season. The team is now coached by Mark Schusterman.

CLASS 5A STATE SEMIFINAL

WHO: Largo (26-1) vs. Naples Barron Collier (29-2).

WHEN: 8:30 p.m., Wednesday.

WHERE: The Lakeland Center.

ADMISSION: $9 per session; $5 parking each day.

HOW THEY GOT HERE: Largo beat Plant 69-45, Boca Ciega 55-40 and Lakewood 47-45 in overtime. Barron Collier beat Fort Lauderdale Dillard 62-48, Sebastian River 63-29 and Miami Jackson 53-49.

OUTLOOK: This is the first state semifinal appearance for both teams. Largo has rolled through the season with a balanced lineup that features seven players who can come through on any given night. Alexis Henry has been a clutch free-throw shooter and Chelsea Simpson has provided a spark by hitting 3-pointers. Ebony Walker has dominated inside and Tish Feazell has been able to push the tempo as the point guard. Barron Collier has gotten to this point by knocking off an impressive lineup of foes, including two-time defending state champion Dillard and state-ranked Jackson.

- BOB PUTNAM, Times Staff Writer

GETTING THERE: Take Interstate 4 east to Exit 31 (Kathleen Road). Turn right on Kathleen Road and continue to Sikes Boulevard. Bear right at the yield sign and turn right at the second traffic light (Lime Street). The Lakeland Center will be on the right.

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