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Gators hang on to win, but Rams can't

STEVE LEE
Published December 21, 2003

NEW PORT RICHEY - One county team staved off an opponent's rally in the Ashley Morrison Memorial Lady Ram Shootout Saturday, but another team could not.

And it was not the team most people would guess.

Land O'Lakes, which has blown late leads in all three of its losses, kept Celebration at bay for a 32-25 win in the first game.

In the second game, the final contest of the two-day series, the host Rams lost 56-51 in overtime against Lake Wales. Ridgewood (7-1) entered that game unbeaten.

"We missed too many layups and too many free throws to win," Ridgewood coach Greg Bollinger said. "The ones we missed the first half came back to haunt us in the second half. We ran inbounds plays where we had layups, wide open layups, and we didn't finish."

Land O'Lakes, which blew a 14-point lead in a one-point loss to Lake Wales on Friday, hung on to beat Celebration and snap a two-game losing skid.

"It's been happening for three games," Land O'Lakes coach Greg Robinson said, alluding to the Gators' blown leads in three losses. "It's nice to win again."

Ridgewood led by nine after the first quarter but was outscored 28-17 over the next two, and Lake Wales headed into the fourth with a 37-35 lead.

Late in the fourth Ridgewood trailed by two before Crystal Ayers, who had a team-leading 16 points, scored a layup after her fourth steal for a tie at 46. Stephanie Carbone's jumper gave the Rams a 48-46 lead, but the Highlanders tied in on a layup by Marcy White, who scored a game-high 21.

Lake Wales (6-3) outscored Ridgewood 8-3 in overtime, with Nina Bonaparte's free throws accounting for the Rams' points.

Ladasha Stoudemire's rebound and put-back gave Lake Wales a 52-49 lead, and Ridgewood never got closer.

Land O'Lakes (4-3) had an 18-17 lead going into the fourth quarter against Celebration, which took a 23-22 lead on the second of Robin Bronson's two 3-pointers.

Allison Foster, who had six of her team's final nine points, gave Land O'Lakes the lead for good on a jump shot in the lane for a 24-23 lead.

Detrice Ellis and Roshaunda Washington each scored eight for Land O'Lakes.

Bronson led Celebration (1-9) with 11.

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