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SNAKOVSKY STAYS TOUGH TO POWER SICKLES

During the course of her team's district title game against St. Petersburg, Sickles senior Shawnta Snakovsky's left eye had been bruised, her jersey pulled in all sorts of directions, and her shot altered.

But her resilience sustained nary a scratch.

Amid a woeful shooting night against physical No. 2 seed St. Petersburg, the Gryphons (24-2) reeled off a sequence of interior fourth-quarter baskets to pull away for a 40-31 win.

And Snakovsky (13 points) was at the center of the spurt. Her two layups - one on Britany Nunes' transition feed, the other on Melissa Ramsey's inbound pass - during an 11-2 charge gave Sickles a 35-25 lead.

"She stayed in the game," said Sickles coach Mark Key, whose team hosts Sarasota in a region quarterfinal Thursday. "They had their hands on her all night ... but she stuck in there."

Sickles' outside shooting touch never showed up. The Gryphons didn't score a field goal outside the lane in the second half and sank only eight of 23 free throws.

But they pounced on St. Petersburg's miscues, including 25 turnovers. The Green Devils, who split the regular-season series with the Gryphons, had a litany of traveling violations and watched Snakovsky convert two steals into transition layups in the first half.

Still, the Green Devils trimmed their deficit to 24-23 before Sickles embarked on its decisive run.

"Turnovers killed us," Green Devils coach Ryan Halstead said. "Give them credit; they made plays."

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