Girls basketball | Sarasota beats Palmetto on boards in key 7A-10 contest

Rebound margin carries Sarasota in 7A-10 triumph

adell@bradenton.comJanuary 15, 2014 

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Lakewood Ranch's Mackenzie Popp attempts to steal the ball from Palmetto's Jermisha Collins in a Class 7A-District 10 girls basketball game Tuesday at Lakewood Ranch High. GRANT JEFFERIES/Bradenton Herald

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PALMETTO -- When you get outrebounded by more than a 3-1 margin, you are most likely going to lose a basketball game.

The fact was clearly evident when the host Palmetto girls basketball team dropped a 45-34 Class 7A-District 10 contest to Sarasota on Tuesday night.

The Sailors (18-3, 6-1) totally dominated the glass, outrebounding Palmetto 34-13 and limiting the Tigers to only four offensive rebounds.

The domination on the boards negated the 24 turnovers Sarasota committed against a quicker Palmetto team (16-7), which saw its district record drop to 3-4.

Sarasota used its superiority on the glass to convert 14 of 29 shots, while Palmetto struggled from the field, connecting on only 13 of 48 field-goal attempts. The Tigers hurt themselves by rushing their offense and taking low-percentage shots.

"They didn't dominate the boards. We gave it to them. We just didn't play well," Palmetto head coach Robert Kelly said. "We will discuss what happened, work on it and get it right. We had been playing well until today."

Sarasota's big girl, 6-foot-2 Madison Pack, had eight rebounds along with Ja'Da Bennett, and Zaharia Grable led the Sailors with 16 points. Tina Stephens led the Tigers on the glass with seven rebounds and contributed nine points. Jermisha Collins topped Palmetto with 13 points.

Palmetto's only lead was 4-2 less than three minutes into the game. The Sailors responded with seven straight points and never trailed.

The Sailors outrebounded Palmetto 7-1 in the second quarter while outscoring the Tigers 13-6 to take a 22-14 halftime lead. Their biggest lead of the night was 16 points, the last time when they ended the third quarter ahead 36-20.

Palmetto couldn't get any closer than nine points, the last time coming when the Tigers trailed 43-34 with 40 seconds left. They outscored Sarasota 14-9 in the fourth period when they made 5 of 10 shots.

"I don't know where their heads were tonight, but it obviously wasn't here," Kelly said. "It just wasn't our night. We didn't shoot well, blew some assignments at the wrong time and made some costly turnovers."

Sarasota is in first place in the district, but plays host to second-place Lakewood Ranch (5-2) on Thursday night.

The Mustangs beat the Sailors once, and another victory would give them the tie-breaker for the district tournament's top seed if they both end up with two losses in the district.

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