Girls basketball | FHSAA says Lakewood Ranch guilty of using ineligible player, but no penalties assessed

adell@bradenton.comMarch 6, 2014 

Staff Photographer

Lakewood Ranch's Megan Hagy looks to pass while caught between Palmetto's Tina Stephens, left, and Taylor Rozier as the Mustangs host the Palmetto High School Tigers during the Class 7A-District 10 girls basketball semifinal Wednesday night in Lakewood Ranch. PAUL VIDELA/Bradenton Herald

PAUL VIDELA — pvidela@bradenton.com Buy Photo

— The Lakewood Ranch girls basketball team was found guilty of using an ineligible player for the regular season, but no penalties were assessed against the school.

The Florida High School Athletic Association said the team played a home school student who lives in Sarasota County, which is a violation of residency rules.

In its report, the FHSAA said the student and her parents provided false information to the school about her residency to gain athletic eligibility.

The FHSAA said it would not assess penalties because Lakewood Ranch self-reported the violations and did not allow her to participate after it determined her residency was false.

The FHSAA did not name the girl. However, 5-foot-10 sophomore forward Megan Hagy, a starter and one of the leading rebounders on the team, did not play in the district tournament championship game or the two region tournament games that followed.

Lakewood Ranch head coach Tina Hadley would not comment on the matte,r and school athletic director Shawn Trent did not respond to an inquiry.

With Hagy on its roster, Lakewood Ranch defeated rival Sarasota twice and lost the two postseason games against the Sailors when she was no longer on the team.

Hagy did not score in the first matchup against Sarasota. In the second meeting, she scored four points and had six rebounds with three steals in a 48-39 triumph.

Hagy’s last game came in a 76-51 victory over Palmetto in the district semifinal. She scored 15 points and had a game high 10 rebounds.

Sarasota defeated Lakewood Ranch in overtime in the region semifinal and qualified for the state tournament. The Mustangs finished their season at 20-8.

The FHSAA report said the student would not be allowed to participate in sports at Lakewood Ranch for the remainder of the school year and that any future participation would be determined later.

In typical circumstances the use of ineligible players means the team must forfeit games she or he participated in. However, the FHSAA noted that the school did not intentionally use an ineligible player, alluding to the false information supplied by the parents.

Multiple sources have told the Bradenton Herald that Hagy lives in the Riverview High district and that someone from Sarasota County reported her address to school officials around the time of the district tournament.

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