Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Ranch Edges Tigers

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Ranch Edges Tigers

Article excerpt

GIRLS BASKETBALL: Houston's free throw in final half-minute is winning margin

LAKEWOOD RANCH

The four freshmen played like freshmen.

The all-underclassmen starters hurried their offense, shot 25 percent from the floor and committed a season-high 27 turnovers.

Yet, the Lakewood Ranch High girls basketball team played hard to the final horn and came away with a victory.

"Yes we did. By the hair on our chinny-chin-chin," Mustangs coach Tina Hadley said.

Reserve Ve'andrea Houston's free throw with 33.7 seconds remaining broke a tie and gave Lakewood Ranch a 41-40 victory over Palmetto on Tuesday night in a non-district game involving district teams on the Mustangs floor.

"It makes me feel excellent," Hadley said. "If we can play that bad and still win, I might be willing to play that bad, as long as we win games. But it won't happen that often."

It happened on this night because the Tigers got out to a painfully slow start and owned the lead only once the entire evening.

"Real bad, like they didn't want to come out and play," Palmetto coach Robert Kelly said.

The Tigers (12-6; 2-1 in Class 6A-District 12) missed layups, committed turnovers and failed to execute what they planned during Monday's practice.

"We did it in the second half," said Kelly, whose team held the Mustangs to 20 points in the final three quarters after allowing 21 in the first quarter. "If we did it in the first half, we wouldn't have been so far down, and we wouldn't have had to work so hard."

Kyra Klarkowski, one of the talented freshmen, got the Mustangs (9-5; 2-0 in 6A-12) off to a quick start, scoring the first seven points in a 9-2 run that opened the game.

"I try to start stuff off and lead by example," said Klarkowski, who scored 14 points to tie junior Emily Buflin for team-high scoring honors. "Not necessarily scoring, but going out there and playing hard and taking the lead."

"She most definitely got us off to a good start," Hadley said.

Kelly called for a full-court press in the second quarter to kick- start his team. …

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