NEW PORT RICHEY — Gulf’s dominance over Pasco continued as the Buccaneers cruised to a 64-47 victory Tuesday, advancing to the Class 5A region final.
Kadejah Saunders led the way with 15 points, four rebounds and three steals while Lexy Shulman added 14 points and six steals.
Gulf coach Mike Quarto made adjustments after Pasco (25-4) came out hot in the first quarter, taking a 14-11 lead. The Pirates outrebounded the Bucs 18-8 in the first half.
“(Pasco) ran something they haven’t run in the previous three games,” Quarto said. “We got them into foul trouble and we did what we were supposed to do.
“We decided to set more screens so we can have some spacing below the basket.”
The Bucs ended the second quarter and continued through the third on a 12-0 run, making the score 38-27. Shulman had success dribble penetrating and dropping easy baskets, which caught her by surprise.
“We weren’t able to attack the basket in the last game like we did tonight,” Shulman said. “We realized we had to penetrate to force fouls and score points.”
Gulf (27-2) reached the free-throw line 23 times, converting 13. The Bucs defense forced 30 turnovers, converting many into fastbreak points.
Allahon Marbra led the Pirates with 21 points. Pasco’s four losses this season all came against Gulf.