Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Mustangs Roll Past Sailors | Disruptive Defense Key to Lakewood Ranch Win

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Mustangs Roll Past Sailors | Disruptive Defense Key to Lakewood Ranch Win

Article excerpt


SARASOTA -- Sarah Fazio poked the ball loose near midcourt, sprinted to the basketball and netted a layup Tuesday night.

Less than a minute later, Fazio, Lakewood Ranch High's sophomore point guard, came up with another steal. This time, she assisted a striding Kailyn Scully on another Mustangs basket.

The Mustangs were hoping to be disruptive during their first game of the calendar year. They wound up disrupting Sarasota early and often en route to a 54-31 victory that has Lakewood Ranch, ranked second in the state in Class 7A, on the cusp of clinching the top seed for the upcoming Class 7A-District 11 tournament.

The Mustangs also pulled off a regular-season sweep of the fifth- ranked Lady Sailors, who beat Lakewood Ranch (15-4, 6-0) three times last season.

"We wanted to play some tight man-to-man," said Lakewood Ranch coach Tina Hadley. "I thought we could bother them if we played some man-to-man. And they turned the ball over."

The Mustangs forced 25 turnovers and kept Sarasota (15-4, 4-2) off the scoreboard until Imani Jones hit a jumper with 2:15 remaining in the first period. Scully and Fazio had four steals apiece, swarming Sarasota's ball handlers as soon as they crossed midcourt. Lakewood Ranch opened the second quarter on a 6-0 run while limiting the Lady Sailors to two points until Madison Pack and Hailey Rosenhaus hit 3-pointers less than a minute before the half.

In the interim, Ranch built a 25-6 lead.

"We wanted to get out and run. That was our game plan," Hadley said. "We want to run as much as possible. If not, we wanted to try and execute in the half court. I didn't feel we executed well in the beginning of game - I felt like we held the ball too much. Then we finally got going."

So did LaDazhia Williams, the Mustangs' highly recruited junior forward. Sarasota clamped down on her during the first quarter, limiting Williams to one shot and no points.

But she scored nine of her 17 points in the second quarter and finished with six rebounds and four steals.

"I told her at halftime she needs to move more. She was kind of standing there, being guarded," Hadley said. " 'You need to move more, you need to get away from the basket. …

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