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Bears run past Eagles in 54-36 win

Central's Tamara Tatham shows she can score, too, by putting up a career-high 19 points against Springstead.

By FRANK PASTOR
© St. Petersburg Times
published January 11, 2002


SPRING HILL -- It was nice to be recognized for her defensive quickness, but Central's Tamara Tatham wanted more.

"It was always like, "Oh, yeah, she's quick, she's quick,' but I wanted it to be like, "She's quick, and she can score,"' Tatham said.

"I want to be a well-rounded player."

Determined to become more of a scorer in her junior season, Tatham stayed late after practice to work on her shooting.

It's beginning to show.

After scoring no more than eight points in any game last season, Tatham routinely scores in double figures this season. She reached a career high with 19 points in Central's 54-36 victory Thursday at Springstead.

"It's not my role," said Tatham, whose previous high was 17 points earlier this season against Crystal River.

"I wanted it to be, at least a little bit."

Tatham's twin sister, Thalia, scored 10 points and Sharesa Scott added nine as Central (13-3) held off Springstead to win for the 12th time in 13 games.

Mindi Robbins scored 14 points for the Eagles. Dana Natale and Kayln Butler had six each.

Springstead handled Central's zone press and trailed just 15-14 after Robbins' layup with 4 minutes, 36 seconds remaining in the second quarter.

But the Bears switched to a man-to-man press and took advantage of their -- dare we say? -- defensive quickness to mount a 15-2 run that put them ahead 30-16 with 1:05 left in the first half. Tamara Tatham benefitted most from the faster tempo, scoring on transition buckets and back-door layups.

Nine of her 15 first-half points came in the quarter as Central moved out to a 32-20 halftime lead.

"She runs the break real well; her and her sister both do," Central coach Lori Lessley said.

"When Shar(esa Scott) and Jen (Adams) push it and (the Tathams) finish well, they finish the baskets when they get a good pass."

Natale scored four points during a 10-0 Springstead run that pulled the Eagles back to within 38-30 with 2:13 to play in the third quarter.

But Central shut down Springstead the rest of the way, limiting the Eagles to just three field goals during the final 9:21.

"I just go back to their speed," Springstead coach Evelene Bennett said. "They're a team that sticks with their strengths, and their strength is their speed and layups, and that's all they had to do to beat us tonight."

Don't tell that to Tatham.

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