Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Mustangs End District Drought | They Beat Palmetto for First Title in 11 Years

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Mustangs End District Drought | They Beat Palmetto for First Title in 11 Years

Article excerpt

BOYS BASKETBALL: CLASS 7A-DISTRICT 11

LAKEWOOD RANCH -- Similar to most coaches, Jeremy Schiller gives Lakewood Ranch High's boys basketball team 24 hours to either lament a loss or celebrate a victory.

In the wake of one of the biggest wins in program history, however, Schiller decided bend the rule a bit.

"I'm giving them 48," Schiller said. "We won't talk about anything else until Monday."

The chatter should prove quite festive after the Mustangs beat Palmetto High 77-64 Friday night to clinch the Class 7A-District 11 championship, the team's first title in 11 years.

Lakewood Ranch (21-5) has had a couple of close calls under Schiller, who is currently in his fifth season. The Mustangs made a surprising run to the Class 6A-District 12 final in 2012 only to fall to Palmetto in double overtime, and lost last year's Class 7A- District 10 title game at home to a scorching North Port team that played into the state semifinals.

There was no letdown Friday, however, thanks

mostly to a 15-0 run that began with six seconds left in the first quarter and stretched into the second. Lakewood Ranch didn't let Palmetto (13-13) score during the period until Kyle Edwards hit a free throw 3:15 before halftime that cut the Mustangs' lead to 32- 16.

The Tigers' first field goal of the quarter came less than a minute later on a Keiwon Jackson 3-pointer.

"We defended really well. They scored a lot of points on free throws or offensive transition where we maybe turned the ball over," Schiller said. "But our set defense was pretty good and pretty tough, and that was consistent. And when you can defend for 32 minutes, as hard as you can, you're going to be in a lot of basketball games."

The Mustangs were a mixed bag offensively, making 45 percent of their 3-point attempts (9-for-20), including five during the first half. The last one before the break came courtesy of Brock Sisson and gave Lakewood Ranch a 38-19 lead with a little over two minutes remaining. …

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