Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Sailors Clamp Down on Another Foe | Sarasota's Stingy Defense Shuts Down Tampa Sickles in Opening Round

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Sailors Clamp Down on Another Foe | Sarasota's Stingy Defense Shuts Down Tampa Sickles in Opening Round

Article excerpt

GIRLS BASKETBALL: LADY RAM JAM

SARASOTA -- There is something about the way the Sarasota High girls basketball team plays defense.

Not only do the Sailors clamp down on the opposition, they do it without a bunch of fouls.

Sarasota limited its seventh opponent of the season to 24 points or fewer in a 58-24 victory over Tampa Sickles in the opening round of the Lady Ram Jam on Monday at Riverview High School.

In other first-round games, Riverview defeated Tampa Bay Tech, 62- 42, Winter Haven blitzed Bayshore, 56-9, and Jacksonville University Christian slipped past Tampa Catholic, 45-44.

In today's semifinal round games, Sarasota takes on University Christian at 5:30 p.m. and Winter Haven plays Riverview at 7:15 p.m. In consolation-round action, Tampa Sickles plays Tampa Catholic at 2 p.m. Bayshore tangles with Tampa Bay Tech at 3:45 p.m.

The Sailors also extended their streak of not having a player foul out to two-and-a-half seasons.

The last time a Sarasota player fouled out was the final game of the 2012-13 season, when Natasha Wilcox picked up five fouls in a 43- 29 loss to Stuart Martin County in the Class 7A-Region 3 quarterfinals.

Since then, the Sailors have improved their defense from allowing 36.5 points per game in 2013-14 to 33.1 last year and 31.4 this season.

"We try to have a good understanding of who the other team's scorers are and who we would allow to shoot," Sarasota coach Rob Jutras said. "And basically not foul them on shots we want them to take."

Whether it is zone or man-to-man, the Sailors (14-2) are stingy. They did not allow their first point Monday until 5 minutes, 17 seconds elapsed. The Gryphons did not reach double figures in scoring until a minute into the second half.

And they are doing it - and will continue to do it for the remainder of the season - without their top defensive player Ja'da Bennett, who is out for the season with an injury. …

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