Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

'Noles Lone Area Winner

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

'Noles Lone Area Winner

Article excerpt

GIRLS BASKETBALL: Three others drop openers in Clemons Classic


The ninth annual Willie Clemons Girls Basketball Classic started out a bit rough for Venice, Riverview and Lakewood Ranch High.

All three area teams got rolled in their first-round games by a combined 57 points Wednesday at Southeast High.

"I didn't expect it to be this way," said Southeast coach John Harder, the tournament's organizer. "I want our local people to be happy."

The host Lady Seminoles (12-1), who beat Lakeland Kathleen 43- 33, were the only area team to advance to today's semifinals, where they will meet Class 6A 10th-ranked Tampa Sickles (13-1).

"This gives us a good test," said Sickles coach Mark Key. "Coach Harder does an unreal job with those kids."

"They're 13-1 for a reason," Harder said. "They're a 6A school. We're (5A). Eight kids on my bench, all of them injured, I'm going to be lucky to be in the ballgame."

Junior DeAngela Mathis poured in 14 points and had five steals to lead Southeast, whose defense held Kathleen (8-4) to 19 points in the first half and 14 points in the second half.

"It was a very big win because this is our tournament, we're supposed to be the winning team, you know," said Mathis, who was the MVP of 2011 Clemons Classic.

Her two 3-point field goals in the second quarter helped Southeast take control after falling behind 12-6 early.

"We started slowing up the offense and being patient," Mathis said. "With the open passes, we started running the lanes and freeing people up. They started doubling me, I'd come up and open somebody up."

Desante Jordan scored nine points and registered all seven of the team assists, while Bevin Mays also added nine points.

Anaya Thomas (11 points) and Christin Strawbridge (10) led Kathleen.

Lakewood Ranch, which committed 22 turnovers and fell behind 20- 0, was crushed 57-36 by Sickles, which got 16 points from Sarah Hartman, 13 points from Cassidy O'Brien and 10 points from Cierra Wheatley.

Riverview also committed 22 turnovers and fell behind 21-7, in its 56-46 loss to Sanford Seminole.

Venice was beaten 60-34 by Boca Ciega.

The Lady Mustangs' (7-4) start infuriated head coach Tina Hadley, who called it a "pathetic," effort by her team, during a first- quarter timeout. …

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