CLEARWATER — In its quest to return to the state semifinals, host Calvary Christian faced little resistance in the Class 3A, District 9 semifinals, cruising to a 55-21 victory over Shorecrest.
A running clock started early in the third quarter because of the mercy rule.
The Warriors (20-4) face Admiral Farragut in tonight’s final. The Blue Jackets advanced with a 44-33 win over Indian Rocks Christian.
Calvary Christian swept Admiral Farragut during the regular season, winning each game by at least 24 points.
But the Warriors face tougher competition in the region, and they will do so without senior Kasey Howard, who sprained her MCL and slightly tore the meniscus in her knee two weeks ago. Howard’s loss is a blow considering she was one of the leaders and just a few points shy of reaching 1,000 for her career.
“Not having Kasey hurts, but we’re a team,” Calvary Christian coach Brooke Siebert said. “When someone goes down, others have to step up a little bit more.”
Thursday, the Warriors shot well from the start, racing out to a 22-5 lead in the first quarter and increasing it to 40-9 by halftime.
Savannah Plentovich did the bulk of the scoring from the perimeter. She finished the first half with 14 points, including four 3-pointers.
In the second half, the Warriors mixed in reserves. Plentovich finished with a team-high 18 points, and Saje Schlatterer added 16.
“Shorecrest is a solid team,” Siebert said. “We just worked really well together. I’m proud of their effort.”
There was a changing of the guard in the other semifinal as the Blue Jackets secured their second playoff berth in school history. Admiral Farragut did it with a big third quarter, outscoring the Golden Eagles 12-2.
The loss means Indian Rocks Christian will miss the playoffs for the first time in 12 seasons.