Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Slow Start Buries Sarasota Christian

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Slow Start Buries Sarasota Christian

Article excerpt

LAKELAND

CLASS 2A STATE SEMIFINALS: Blazers can't overcome early deficit, fall to Miami Christian

It began in practice; the preparation for what the Sarasota Christian boys basketball team hoped would be the two biggest games in school history.

"We got a little relaxed," Blazers first-year coach Kevin Fields said. "I'll take responsibility. Practices weren't as intense as they were early on in the season. I didn't prepare them right.

"Being here before, maybe too relaxed to start the game."

Sarasota Christian's second foray to the Final 4 went pretty much as the first.

The Blazers fell behind early and made a run shortly after halftime before succumbing to Miami Christian Academy, 95-70, in the Class 2A State Semifinal on Tuesday afternoon at George Jenkins Arena at The Lakeland Center.

While the Victors (25-3) move on to today's championship game against Orlando Agape, a 57-36 winner over Land O'Lakes Academy at the Lakes, Sarasota Christian (20-9) plays the wait-'til-next-year card again.

"Early on we were watching one another, waiting for the next person to make the big play for us and ignite us versus playing what we've practiced," Fields said. "We practice not missing assignments, everyone doing their role. Just sprinting back down floor on defense. It's little things like that. We got caught up watching one another instead of just playing ball."

Miami Christian, which defeated Boca Raton Grandview Prep, the team Fields thought the Blazers would play, scored the first eight points of the game and never relinquished the lead.

"It's a good idea to get some buckets early on, get us going, get us in a nice flow," Victors coach Andrew Moran said.

The Blazers were a little shellshocked.

"Jitters, a little nervous," Sarasota Christian junior guard Blake Morrow said.

The Victors' 13-2 early lead held throughout the first quarter, when they grabbed a 27-16 lead after the first eight minutes.

"The jitters were gone in the first quarter," Blazers sophomore wing Brion Whitley said. "The first couple of possessions we got acclimated to the game. We started to play and got back into it. We thought we could win the game the whole time. At that point, it looked like, 'Here we go. …

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