Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

2 Lakeside Basketball Teams Unbeaten

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

2 Lakeside Basketball Teams Unbeaten

Article excerpt

It is unusual for one basketball team from a school to be unbeaten, but for a school to have two teams unscathed is rare indeed. Lakeside Junior High has two undefeated teams, with both the boys and girls teams at 13-0.

The winning streak for the Lady Gators is 19 in a row dating back to January. Lakeside's average margin of victory is 25 points. The team averages the same number of steals as points per game (14). Green Cove Springs (30-27) and Hendricks Methodist Day School (14-11) played the Lady Gators the closest so far.

In their most recent game, Lakeside beat Wilkinson Junior High, 64-4, on Dec. 19. The Lady Gators jumped to a 27-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.

For the Lady Gators, the defining moment in their season came as a result of their star player being injured in the fourth game of the season against Richardson Middle School of Lake City. Shondalyn Rogers, who was averaging 16 points, 8 rebounds, 6 steals and 5 assists per game after the first three games, tore the anterior cruciate ligament in her knee. Head coach Jerry Whitaker, also the volleyball coach at Orange Park High School, said the team was at a crossroads and could have gone in either direction.

"When Smooch [Rogers' nickname] went down, the team had to come together and they did," Whitaker said. "Smooch was so good that she could have played on the boys team, but we had to go on without her and the team really responded. We have had a different person . . . lead us in scoring almost every night."

Forward Maggie Hilder, who leads the team in scoring, averages 11 points and 8 rebounds per game. Guard Tenise Haynes averages 11 points per game, five rebounds and five steals. Point guard Ashley Young leads the team in assists with 6 per game. Guard Marquita Ibarra leads in steals with an average of 6 per game. Another starter, center Shantel Smith, averages 7 points and 7 rebounds per game.

Three other players who have made strides this year are guards Nicole Reitz; Ashley Hirabayashi, the first player off the bench; and forward Marissa Hovious.

Whitaker said the entire roster of 14 girls has played at least a quarter in nearly every game. …

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