Streaks hold off Devils
Mark Pinson | Highlands TodayAVON PARK - Sebring built a double-digit lead at the half and then held off a furious Avon Park rally to earn a 51-43 win in girls basketball Thursday night.
Published: November 17, 2012
Published: November 17, 2012
The Blue Streaks had three players in double figures in the nondistrict game and improved to 2-0 on the season.
"I'm happy because it's been a long time since we won in this manner," said Sebring girls basketball coach Mike Lee. "We knew Avon Park was going to make a run at us and we were able to withstand their pressure and come away with a good win.
"We played hard and competed and I don't care if it was by one point or 20, it was a win."
The loss dropped the Red Devils to 1-2 overall.
"We came out flat and not ready to play," said Avon Park coach Paulette Daley. "We finally picked up the intensity in the second half, but we need to start the game with that kind of effort and intensity.
"We put ourselves in a big hole in the first half because we slacked off on defense and rebounding and Sebring took full advantage of it."
Sebring came out with plenty of energy and ran its offense to perfection, as junior guard Rondaja Williams scored six of her 12 points and senior forward Allie Mann added four of her 14 points to give the Blue Streaks a 15-4 lead heading into the second quarter.
Sebring used an aggressive full-court press, which forced Avon Park into numerous turnovers that were converted into easy baskets. Red Devil forward Johntavia Perry tried to keep her team in the game by scoring four of her team-high 12 points.
Mann buried a 3-pointer from the left baseline and Shalontay Rose, who had 12 rebounds and five blocks, added four of her 14 points as the Blue Streaks took a commanding 32-10 lead into the half.
"We executed our offense real well in the first half," Lee said. "We passed the ball well, got some transition baskets with our running game and we controlled the boards.
"We played good defense with a lot of deflections, but we aren't in top shape yet and it looked like we got kind of tired as the game went on."
Avon Park came out with renewed intensity in the third quarter, as Toryana Jones scored six of her 11 points and Connie Dewberry added four points as the Red Devils trimmed their deficit to 39-28 heading into the final eight minutes.
Sebring went ice cold to open the fourth quarter, and Jones nailed a 3-pointer and a pair of jumpers, Perry scored six points in the paint and Dewberry buried a 3-pointer from the top of the key as Avon Park pulled within 47-41with 2:49 remaining in the game.
Sebring called a time out, Williams hit a pair of pressure-packed free throws and Mann drilled a jumper to stem the Red Devil rally and preserve the hard-fought win for the Blue Streaks.
"Avon Park is a good team and well-coached and we knew they were going to come after us," Lee said. "I was glad to see us respond in a positive way to their comeback and we hit some key free throws down the stretch.
"That was a huge basket by Allie and I'm happy we competed and didn't fold when things got tight late in the game."
Sebring hosted DeSoto on Friday night and Avon Park has a home game against Lake Region on Tuesday night.
"We're a better team than we showed tonight," said Daley. "We have to be intense from the opening tip to the end of the game. Sebring executed and we didn't until we were in such a big hole.
"We're going to build off the second half and now we know that we can play at a high level when we're doing the right things on offense and defense."
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