Green Dragons district champs
Allen Moody | Highlands TodayARCADIA - It was only fitting that the Lake Placid Green Dragons were the home team on the scoreboard in Friday's Class 4A-District 10 championship game. Even though the game was played on DeSoto's home court, Green Dragon fans made up three-fourths of the crowd and they went home happy, as Lake Placid claimed its first district title since 2004-05 with a 55-47 victory over DeSoto.
Published: February 3, 2013
Published: February 3, 2013
"It feels great," said Lake Placid senior Bria Wilson. "I knew we were going to come in here and win the district championship."
The Dragons played from behind the majority of the first half, but whenever it looked as though DeSoto might put some distance between itself and Lake Placid, the Green Dragons would come up with a clutch shot. Three times the Bulldogs pushed their lead to seven, but they could never get it any larger.
DeSoto's final seven-point lead, 28-21, was followed by a pair of free throws from Alex Coyne and a basket by Wilson to make it a 28-25 game at the half.
Whatever Lake Placid coach Jackie Coyne said to her team at halftime should be patented, as the Dragons came out breathing fire. Two baskets by Wilson to start the quarter gave the Green Dragons a 29-28 lead and they weren't finished.
Buckets by Shaquavia Gayle and Quiahja Williams pushed Lake Placid's lead to 33-28, and Wilson followed that up with a 3-pointer, forcing DeSoto to take a timeout with 4:45 remaining in the quarter. After the break, Wilson hit another field goal before the Bulldogs were able to end the 13-0 run with a free throw.
"I kept going to Bria because I saw a mismatch there and kept trying to get her the ball," said Coach Coyne.
Lake Placid took a 45-36 lead into the fourth quarter, but the Bulldogs refused to go away, cutting the Green Dragons' lead to six, only to see Wilson hit a field goal to make it 53-45.
Both teams missed a few free throws and had a few turnovers down the stretch, which didn't bother the Green Dragons nearly as much as it did the Bulldogs, as time was ticking off the clock.
"We had a couple of turnovers, but that's youth," Coach Coyne said. "That's inexperience and that's going to happen. They pulled through it."
Alex Coyne hit a couple of free throws in the final 38 seconds to seal the victory.
"It was a good team effort all the way," Wilson said. "There was a lot of energy."
Coach Coyne said the Bulldogs deserved plenty of credit.
"DeSoto played a very good game," she said. "They challenged us at different things. Honestly, I couldn't be more proud of my girls."
For the second straight game, Wilson led the Green Dragons in scoring, tallying 22 points in the game, three days after scoring 25 against Mulberry.
"I was ready and I was prepared," Wilson said. "I've been determined and ready to go play."
Alex Coyne scored 19 points, while Gayle and Williams both scored six.
Coach Coyne said the team was appreciative of all the fans who made the trip to Arcadia to cheer on the team, making it feel more like a home game.
It is the second straight appearance for Lake Placid in the regional quarterfinals, although this time — as district champions — they will have a home game.
Academy of the Holy Names, which lost in the Class 4A-District 9 title game to Tampa Catholic by a 42-33 score, will visit the Green Dragons on Thursday.
The Jaguars defeated Tampa Catholic during both regular season meetings, but the Crusaders used a 22-5 second-half run to cruise to the district title.
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