CLASS A: Lancers press on defense, get balanced scoring in 88-37 win over Celebration.
By ANTHONY GAGLIANO
© St. Petersburg Times, published February 21, 2003
TAMPA -- Cambridge School coach Karim Nohra says he's all about performance.
His team's 88-37 win against Celebration in the first round left him without any complaints Thursday.
"The whole objective is performance," Nohra said. "I don't care what the score is. If they do things the way they're taught and the performance is there, then the score will take care of itself."
The Lancers (30-3) used a suffocating fullcourt press to force 11 turnovers in the first quarter and take a 19-8 lead. The Lady Pride (17-10) committed another 12 turnovers in the second quarter as the Lancers doubled up Celebration 30-15 to take a commanding 49-23 lead at the half.
"It takes patience (to beat their press)," Celebration coach Gary Weeden said. "There's nothing we've seen like it in our district. We even played some 4A and 5A teams, and we haven't seen anything like it. It's part mental mistakes and nerves. You can't get in a hurry or have to play from behind because then you play right into their hands."
The Lady Pride took almost four minutes to take its first shot, and Aubrey Medrano's free throw halfway through the first quarter got Celebration on the scoreboard after Cambridge scored the first 12. Medrano was one of the Pride's few bright spots with 19 points and seven rebounds.
Cambridge featured a balanced attack with six scorers in double figures, led by eighth-grader Alexis Walker's 20.
"That's what I want to see," Nohra said. "I don't want to score 30 points. I'd rather have four with 12 or 13 apiece. Then the defense goes, "Who do I have to guard?' They have to guard all of them because everybody is a threat.
"There are no superstars on this team, and if you look at my coaching record I never have. I want them to play within the system."