High School Sports

Mistakes cost Pirates

PALMETTO - Braden River High girls basketball coach Amy Brush tells her players a turnover in the first quarter can be just as damaging as one in the closing minutes.

In Tuesday's opening-round game of the Class 4A-District 10 tournament at Palmetto High, the Pirates' ball-handlers were unable to stop the flow of mistakes. Their 40 turnovers and a 6 for 18 performance from the free-throw line led to a 43-36 loss against Sarasota Booker.

The Tornadoes (7-17) advance to Thursday's 6 p.m. semifinal against No. 1 seed Sebring. The nightcap pits the host Tigers against Avon Park.

"(Booker's) pressure made a big difference," said Brush. "We usually don't have that many turnovers, but I think a lot in the first half were because of nerves."

The Pirates (6-16) did not trail until Tornadoes freshman forward Alicia Jackson rebounded a teammate's miss and scored for a 36-35 lead with 3:01 remaining. Jackson was fouled and missed the free throw, but Shandra Polynice put back the rebound for a 38-35 advantage. Braden River had no answer.

Brush attributed her team's 33 percent shooting from the line to its lack of experience. As a second-year program, the Pirates endured their share of growing pains.

"I'm pleased with the improvement from last year. We didn't take as many butt-kickings," Brush said.

Sam Samuels led the Pirates with 14 points and 13 rebounds.

Booker shot a sickly 16 for 66 from the field but managed to shoot 6 for 16 in the fourth quarter to pull away from the mistake-prone Pirates. Senior guard Latavia Matthews, who led all scorers with 17 points, surpassed the 1,000-point career mark with a 3-pointer at the end of the third quarter.

"I'm very happy with our defense," said Booker coach Wade McVay. "You can see we are not that good a shooting team - our game is transition, pressure defense and fast breaks."

SARASOTA BOOKER (43) - Latavia Matthews 6 2-4 17, Chelsea Brown 3 1-2 7, Aveia LeeShay Coney 2 1-2 6, Andrea Lee 0 0-0 0, Alicia Jackson 2 0-3 4, Shandra Polynice 1 0-2 2, Christina Davis 2 3-8 7. Totals: 16 7-21 43.

BRADEN RIVER (36) - Heather Mirabella 3 0-0 6, Brianna Dowling 1 0-1 2, Sam Samuels 4 4-11 14, Samantha Guadalupe 2 1-3 5, Kei Kei Archie 3 1-3 7, Jasmin Baldwin 1 0-0 2, Kari Schultz 0 0-0 0. Totals: 14 6-18 36.

Sarasota Booker 10 4 12 17 - 43

Braden River 16 2 9 9 - 36

3-pointers: Sarasota Booker 4 (Matthews 3, Coney), Braden River 2 (Samuels 2). Total fouls: Sarasota Booker 17, Braden River 15. Fouled out: Brown, Davis (Sarasota Booker). Records: Sarasota Booker 7-17, Braden River 6-16.

  Comments