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Preps

Prep basketball: Girls region finals prevew


Published:   |   Updated: February 14, 2014 at 10:33 AM

A capsule look at girls region finals involving Tribune area teams.

TONIGHT

CLASS 4A-REGION 3

WHO: Holy Names (21-8) at Fort Myers Dunbar (27-1), 7 p.m.

NEED TO KNOW: Academy of the Holy Names defeated Tampa Catholic, 55-42, in the semifinals to advance. The Jaguars last reached the state semifinals in 2007 and won their only state title in 1996. Senior guard Ashley McWilliams is averaging a team-best 13.1 points, while senior Cristina Snyder is fourth in the state with 71 3-pointers. Dunbar is the No. 1-ranked team in Class 4A and was a state semifinalist last season. Dunbar is coming off a 66-25 victory against Pahokee in the semifinals. The Tigers have three players averaging double-digit points — Keri Jewett (15.4), Kiara Desamours (14.7) and Dekeriya Patterson (12.0).

CLASS 3A-REGION 2

WHO: Seffner Christian (24-5) at Mount Dora Bible (23-6), 7 p.m.

NEED TO KNOW: Seffner Christian, the No. 3-ranked team in 3A, is seeking its second straight region championship and third overall, while Mount Dora Bible is making its first region final appearance. The Crusaders advanced to the final eight with a 65-29 win against Fort Meade, while Mount Dora Bible defeated Oviedo Master’s Academy, 38-33. Sophomore Peyton Walker leads the Crusaders in scoring (19.8) and rebounds (9.1), while senior point guard Sabrina Whiting adds 15.9 points and 4.7 steals a game.

CLASS 2A-REGION 2

WHO: Academy at the Lakes (21-5) at Winter Park International Community (16-4), 7 p.m.

NEED TO KNOW: The Wildcats are one game away from reaching the state semifinals for a third consecutive season. AATL easily won its region semifinal matchup against Keswick Christian, 68-35, and now comes up against a tough Winter Park International Community team that has put together a solid run through the postseason. The Wildcats will need to get strong play from Imani Thomas (16.2 ppg) in the post.

SATURDAY

CLASS 7A-REGION 2

WHO: Harmony (25-3) at Steinbrenner (26-3), 7 p.m.

NEED TO KNOW: Harmony advanced with a 37-25 win against Haines City, the No. 8-ranked team in 7A, in the region championship, while Steinbrenner defeated fourth-ranked Strawberry Crest, 50-38. Steinbrenner is the 10th-ranked team in 7A and is making its first region final appearance, while Harmony is making its third straight region final appearance. Very similar in offensive production, Harmony averages 49 points and has two players averaging double-digit points in junior Julia Ingler (11.4) and senior Rebekah Fitzpatrick (11.1). Steinbrenner is also averaging 49 points and has one player averaging double-digit points in junior Rachel Briere at 11.9 a game. Senior guard Taylor Thigpen is Steinbrenner’s second-leading scorer with 9.1 a game.

 

CLASS 6A-REGION 3

WHO: Armwood (26-4) at Naples Barron Collier (20-7), 7 p.m.

NEED TO KNOW: Armwood, the No. 5-ranked team in 6A, defeated Dixie Hollins, 55-40, in the semifinals to advance to its first region championship since 2000, the last time the Hawks reached the state semifinals. Barron Collier, the No. 9-ranked team, defeated No. 10 Port Charlotte 65-62 in the region semifinals to move on to its second straight final and its fourth in the past five seasons. Armwood’s defense has been the key to its success this season, limiting opponents to an average of 25 points. The Cougars have two players averaging double-digit points — Elizah Pagkanlugan (10.5) and Kacie Frost (10.2). Senior Kiana King is averaging 14 points for Armwood, while freshman Alyssa Nieves is adding 10.7 points.

CLASS 5A-REGION 2

WHO: Land O’ Lakes (22-4) at Inverness Citrus (25-3), 7 p.m.

NEED TO KNOW: Land O’ Lakes will have to take to the road for its second region final appearance in the past four years. The Gators will run up against a Hurricanes team that relies on balanced scoring and forcing turnovers, with three players averaging 2.6 steals or more. Citrus, the No. 10 team in 5A, has four players averaging eight points or more in Shenelle Toxen (12.5), Micah Jenkins (12.2), Shally Morales (8.5) and Treleasha Simmons (8.0). Land O’ Lakes counters with power forward Jhade Hayes and center Taylor McDonald, who scored 20 points in the Gators’ 46-40 region semifinal win against Brooksville Nature Coast.

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