High School Sports

Ranch can't finish Noles

LAKEWOOD RANCH - Lakewood Ranch boys basketball coach Randy Smith said Wednesday his team has faced dry spells on offense all season.

On Wednesday night during the Class 5A-District 12 tournament at Lakewood Ranch, the Mustangs went cold again, and this time it proved detrimental. The Mustangs fell to Southeast 53-42 in the first round of the district tourney.

With 7:29 left in the fourth quarter, Lakewood Ranch's Jeremiah Hill converted a leaner in the lane to tie the game at 42.

The No. 5-seeded Mustangs (11-14) did not score again.

Yep, another dry spell.

"We tied the game at 42 all, and we go six or seven possessions and not get a shot off," Smith said. "I don't think they did anything different, we just couldn't handle their pressure."

The No. 4-seeded Seminoles went on a 7-0 run sparked by a Steven Suchy layup to end the first quarter. However, the Mustangs responded with a 7-0 run of their own midway through the second period to pull within four points at the break.

"We've been stressing that all year long to go all out, and play like it's their last possession," Southeast coach Elliot Washington said of his team, which improved to 13-11. "We tend to get a little lax at times, and that is what happened in stretches of this game. We wanted to stress defense and rebounding."

The Mustangs committed 20 turnovers but outrebounded the Seminoles by eight (25-17).

In the second half, the Mustangs continued to claw their way back before hitting an offensive road block in the final period.

Southeast senior point guard Brian Alexander said his team stepped up its defense in the fourth quarter.

"We played hard defense," said Alexander, who led his team with 15 points. "It's about heart now, and records get thrown out of the window."

The Seminoles will face Charlotte High in the semifinals at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Lakewood Ranch.

Southeast is in a familiar position. Last year, Charlotte ousted the Seminoles in the semifinals.

"Friday night, we are going to come in here to win a basketball game," Washington said. "We are coming in here to play aggressive basketball."

Alexander added, "Man, basketball is basketball. We don't see Charlotte, we aren't scared of them."

LAKEWOOD RANCH (42) - Josiah Miller 0 2-2 2, Zach Jackson 2 0-0 5, Tim Brooks 2 0-0 6, Daniel Aviles 1 0-2 2, Kieran Sweeney 1 1-3 3, Cole Zigich 2 0-0 6, Colby Hall 3 0-2 6, Jeremiah Hill 3 1-2 7, Paul Boe 1 1-1 3, Nick Diaz 1 0-0 2. Totals: 16 5-12 42.

SOUTHEAST (53) - Brian Alexander 6 2-4 15, Korey Hunt 3 0-0 8, J.D. Davis 3 0-0 6, Mike Bacon 4 1-2 10, Trevion Murray 2 0-0 4, Deontae Hall 0 1-2 1, Will Maxwell 0 0-0 0, Rashaad Huggins 0 0-0 0, Stephen Suchy1 1-2 3, John Ethridge 2 0-2 6, Namon Rice 0 0-0 0, Kieron James 0 0-0 0. Totals: 21 5-12 53.

Lakewood Ranch 13 15 12 2 - 42

Southeast 21 11 10 11 - 53

3-pointers: Lakewood Ranch 4 (Zigich 2, Brooks 2, Jackson); Southeast 6 (Ethridge 2, Hunt 2, Alexander, Bacon). Total fouls: Lakewood Ranch 10; Southeast 16. Fouled out: Hall (Lakewood Ranch). Technical fouls: 1 (Lakewood Ranch). Records: Lakewood Ranch 11-14; Southeast 13-11.