High School Sports

Palmetto eases by Arcadia DeSoto

PALMETTO - From the stands, it was hard to be critical of host Palmetto's 53-23 victory against Arcadia DeSoto in the opening round of the Class 4A-District 10 girls basketball tournament.

But Tigers coach Robert Kelly wasn't taking much satisfaction in a lopsided game against an opponent starting three sophomores and two freshmen.

Instead, he was ready to focus on Thursday's semifinal game against Avon Park, which decides which team advances to regional competition next week. Avon Park cruised to a 50-33 victory in Monday's first game against Wauchula Hardee.

"We still turned the ball over too much, and our post play wasn't as strong as it could have been," Kelly said. "We're going to spend a lot of time (today and Wednesday) working on our low-post game and making sure they're getting in the right drops on our press.

"We definitely have to slow Avon Park down if we want to stay in the game."

Kelly will also make sure the Tigers work on their free-throw shooting, since they did not attempt one Monday for the first time this season.

"We have to attack the defense. We can't lay back and settle for 3-pointers," he said.

Certainly, the bright spots for Palmetto (17-7) were many. Senior guard Taneya Woodie scored 24 points on 12 of 17 shooting, making six straight during one stretch. She had five rebounds, four steals and four assists, meaning she had a hand in 16 of the Tigers' 24 field goals.

Hadassah Pope scored 12 points, and Brittany Williams added 11, making three 3-pointers. Amanda Green did not score but had six assists, and Palmetto finished with 19 assists.

"When we play together as a team, we can do a lot of things," Woodie said. "We got a lot of fast-break points, and my teammates were able to see me on the break."

Palmetto's defense forced 26 turnovers.

"Coach got us fired up at halftime, and we really picked up our defense," Pope said.

Pope was one of four players to advance in the tournament's 3-point shooting competition, along with Gabi Edelman of DeSoto; Beonca Godfrey of Avon Park; and Sabrina Holmes of Hardee.

ARCADIA DeSOTO (23) - Gabi Edelman 1 0-0 2, Emma Buennestro 2 0-0 4, Anreka Bristol 3 2-3 8, Allie Harris 1 0-0 2, Brienne Thomas 0 0-0 0, Kanesha Peterson 0 0-0 0, Felicia Hatcher 1 3-6 5, Megan Flint 0 1-2 1, Christina Taylor 0 1-2 1. Totals: 8 7-13 23.

PALMETTO (53) - Hadassah Pope 5 0-0 12, Taneya Woodie 12 0-0 24, Amanda Green 0 0-0 0, Brittany Williams 4 0-0 11, Kasey Coleman 0 0-0 0, Starcee Brown 2 0-0 4, Tisha Brinson 0 0-0 0, Jasmine Thomas 0 0-0 0, Virginia Tillman 1 0-0 2, Courtney Lane 0 0-0 0. Totals: 24 0-0 53.

Arcadia DeSoto 4 7 6 6 - 23

Palmetto 14 16 10 13 - 53

3-pointers: Palmetto 5 (Williams 3, Pope 2). Total fouls: Arcadia DeSoto 8, Palmetto 11. Records: Arcadia DeSoto 4-16, Palmetto 17-7.