tampabay.com

Yellow Jackets are hot shots

Blake hits 56 percent from the floor and cruises past Alonso 81-48 in a non-district game.

By JIM REESE
Published February 1, 2005


TAMPA - Blake roared to an early 19-4 lead and never looked back, shooting 56 percent from the field in defeating Alonso 81-48 Monday in a non-district game.

Blake (19-4) pulled ahead 25-13 after one quarter behind junior Kayla Vickers' nine points. Vickers led all scorers with 23. In the second quarter, Alonso made a slight run, getting the margin under double digits at 32-23. Then Blake's Precious Dillard drilled a 3-pointer to spark a quarter-ending 10-2 run to put the Yellow Jackets up 42-25 at the half.

Combining an effective full court press with a tight 2-1-2 zone defense, Blake stifled the Ravens' attack, which is designed to feed their two tall players, Jessica James and Meranda Malley, down deep.

"Once we moved Ashley Butler underneath, we were able to cut off their passes inside and that did the job," Williams said.

Butler consistently denied second shots to Alonso (14-5), pulling down a season-high 19 rebounds, six above her average.

Blake's Stephanie Brush jammed her non-shooting hand early but it didn't seem to matter as she scored 22, including five 3-pointers.

"It was senior night and all of us really stepped up," said Brush, who had her hand in ice after the game. "It was great to go out the way we did."

Lisette Perez led Alonso with 18 points, including four 3-pointers.

"The way our team played tonight, I would like our chances against anybody," Williams said.

Alonso coach Kelly Joyner, like Williams a former player at the University of Tampa, was philosophical.

"I told our girls in the locker room that whenever your opponent makes 40 of 71 shots, it just isn't going to be your night."