Most of Manatee County’s best girls weightlifters will have to wait until next week to be certain of their place in the Class 2A championship. Palmetto’s Sha’la McMillan and Braden River’s Sierra Rawley, though, won’t have to sweat it out. Both lifters clinched a spot in the state meet with their Class 2A-Region 8 championships Wednesday in Punta Gorda.
Rawley followed up her Class 2A-District 15 title with another dominant performance at Charlotte High School. Her 190-pound clean and jerk helped her rally past Charlotte’s Mahra Moss for a total of 335 pounds in the 199-pound weight class. McMillan, a junior American record holder, used her clean and jerk prowess to clean up, too. The senior tied the Florida high school clean and jerk record with a 250-pound left, and finished with a total of 440 pounds. Her performance helped the Tigers tie Manatee for fourth place with 16 points. The Tarpons won the region with 64 points.
Only the top lifter in each weight class is guaranteed a spot in the state meet. The rest of the state’s lifters are thrown into a pool with the top 12 non-champions in each weight class qualifying for the state championship.
Saint Stephen’s 56, Sarasota Military Academy 49: Four guards cracked double figures to help the Falcons down Sarasota Military in Bradenton. Cade Westberry led Saint Stephen’s (9-9) with 14 points, Demetrius Davis scored 13, Jordon Murrell added 11 and Cam Viniing finnished with 10 in the victory.
The Falcons return to Class 3A-District 5 play Friday against Sarasota Christian in Sarasota.
Out-of-Door Academy 67, St. Petersburg Catholic 50: Senior Andrew Berg scored a game-high 30 points to lead the host Thunder.
Bayshore 50, Manatee 46: Bona Baker scored 17 and Denny Dessin added 14 to lead host Bayshore in a defensive battle.
Shane Hooks led Manatee with a game-high 24 points, but the Bruins limited the Hurricanes to six fourth-quarter points to earn the nondistrict win.
Manatee led 27-18 at the half, as the Hurricanes slowed the game throughout.
Bayshore fought back to take a 41-40 lead after three quarters. Vernard Brown II had three steals, including one that led to Bayshore taking the lead at the end of the third quarter. The Bruins (8-10) never trailed in the fourth.
Bayshore returns to action Fridat at Dunedin in a district game.
Bayshore won the junior varsity game 60-30.
Venice 53, Cardinal Mooney, 45: Host Venice was led by Mikey Priest’s 12 points; Jaivon Heiligh added 10. Cardinal Mooney was led by Richard Krupa with 14 points and Kendall Johnson’s 12.
Saint Stephen's 50, Sarasota Military Academy 49: Post player Sarah Stevens stole an inbound pass during the final seconds and made a free throw to rally the Falcons past Sarasota Military during the final minute in Bradenton. Saint Stephen’s (7-8) trailed by two with 15 seconds remaining when post player Claudia Sbaschnik stole the ball and scored a game-tying layup for two of her career-high 23 points. A possession later, Stevens’ steal set the Falcons up for the non-district win.
Saint Stephen’s will return to Class 3A-District 5 play Friday in Sarasota against Sarasota Christian.
Lemon Bay 32, Cardinal Mooney, 14: The visiting Lemon Bay was led by Brenna Nelson’s 9 points. Cardinal Mooney’s Kate Beckmann had a team-high 7 points.