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Lecanto never had a chance

By CAREY FREEMAN, Times Staff Writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published February 10, 2002


LECANTO -- It wasn't just Leesburg's defense that did Lecanto in during Saturday's district championship. And it wasn't just the Yellow Jackets' offense, either.

LECANTO -- It wasn't just Leesburg's defense that did Lecanto in during Saturday's district championship. And it wasn't just the Yellow Jackets' offense, either.

Basically, it was all of the above and then some in a 63-36 shellacking of the Panthers (9-21).

"We wanted to focus on things that we haven't been doing lately," Leesburg coach Paula Niblack said. "Things we need to be doing to prepare for the future, like getting some of your younger players in the game."

That wasn't much of a problem for the Yellow Jackets (21-2), who scored the first seven points of the game and rolled to a 15-4 advantage after one quarter behind the overpowering play of guard Jasmine Patterson, whose pressure was too much for Lecanto's guards.

Patterson scored 12 of her 14 points in the first half and led all players with five steals. She also chipped in nine rebounds and six assists.

She and point guard Candice Lynum, who finished with nine points, six assists and six rebounds, gave the Panthers problems all day. Their pressure helped force 25 Lecanto turnovers as the Yellow Jackets took a 31-10 halftime lead that would stretch to 30 by the end of the third quarter.

Danielle Harris was a big part of that final surge, scoring eight of her game-high 18 points in the fourth quarter. Lecanto was led by Kate Wheeler and Kylene Colasanti, who had 10 and eight points, respectively.

"We just didn't execute, but that's because they were so aggressive," Lecanto coach Ron Allan said.

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