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Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
TAMPA - Cambridge bounced back from a subpar performance in its district final against Seffner Christian on Saturday to rout Kissimmee Heartland Christian 62-21.
The Lancers used a smothering fullcourt press the entire game that forced a relatively young Heartland Christian squad that started three freshmen into 28 turnovers.
"Against Seffner Christian, we weren't as sharp and as crisp," Cambridge coach Karim Nohra said, referring to his team's two-point overtime victory over a Seffner Christian team the Lancers had beaten by 30 and 26 during the regular season. "We changed presses really well, and overall, I thought we were really on our game."
Cambridge (22-2) led 19-6 after the first quarter and was up 24 at the half.
Cambridge senior guard Cheryl Bryant, who injured her calf early in the game but returned minutes later, led all scorers with 19 points. She finished one rebound away from a double double. Hillsborough County scoring leader Stephanie Grace chipped in 17 points, and junior forward Caitlin Deboer added 17.
Freshman forward Jelisa Price was the leading scorer for Heartland Christian (15-11) with eight points.
6A: Frustrated Ravens fall
SARASOTA - The frustration was evident after every turnover and every foul. Alonso's body language revealed that the Ravens couldn't get back into their game against Sarasota Riverview. Rams' reserve Rachel Harrison made sure it stayed that way. Harrison scored 26 points and Riverview feasted on 30 Alonso turnovers to advance with a 57-37 victory.
"It was an aggressive game," Alonso point guard Lisette Perez said.
The Ravens (15-10) initiated the contact, drawing four Riverview fouls in the first 1:30 of play. However, Alonso lost its edge when 6-foot-1 center Meranda Maley drew two early fouls. Her absence opened the door for Harrison, who added 15 rebounds. She was also 14-of-16 from the free-throw line. Harrison had four points and Louella Cannon sank a pair of 3-pointers for the decisive 10-0 second-quarter run that gave the Rams (18-11) the lead for good at 21-14. Harrison laid in a basket with three seconds left in the half, giving her 15 in two quarters, to put Riverview up 28-18.
The lead grew to 17 in the third quarter before Alonso charged back with an 8-1 streak to close the period. Harrison picked up her fourth foul less than a minute into the fourth quarter as Maley sank two free throws, and another by Kelsey Abert trimmed the lead to nine at 38-29 with 6:38 remaining.
It slid downhill from there as the turnovers and fouls piled up. Alonso starter Margaret Escourse got whistled for a foul, then slammed and punched the ball in anger to draw a technical, which was also her fifth foul. Minutes later, Perez fouled out, too, and the ball-handling wasn't there without the Ravens' point guard.
"It was our stupid mistakes," said Perez of the turnovers. "We rushed the ball instead of calming it down."
Alonso lost in the first round of the state playoffs for the third straight season. The team will have a decidely different look next season because it has to replace seven seniors.
- ANTHONY GAGLIANO, Times correspondent
3A: Academy cruises
FORT MYERS - Both teams made progress. Academy of the Holy Names progressed into the region semifinals. Host Bishop Verot had to settle for not losing quite as badly.
AHN earned the right to move on with a 58-46 victory.
Gianna Messina led the winners with a game-high 23 points.
"Last time we played them, we lost by 26 points," Vikings sophomore Erin Landry said. "We knew they were going to press. We knew they were good shooters."
AHN (21-7) charged out to a 19-3 lead and never looked back. It led by 19 at halftime and the same margin after three.
- FORT MYERS NEWS-PRESS
A: Evangel thumps Seffer
LAKELAND - Seffner Christian fell 71-45 to Lakeland Evangel Christian.
Up 7-6, Evangel outscored Seffner 20-11 in the second quarter, Shereaka Lahier leading the way with eight points.
The third quarter was evenly played. Romelo Sullivan, the leading scorer for Evangel, scored nine of her 23 points in the quarter. Seffner was led by Rachel Parimore who scored eight and leading scorer Jessy Leggat added six of her 16.
The Chargers held a 10-point lead for the first part of the fourth quarter. After Ashley Cunningham of Seffner was called for a technical foul, Evangel stretched its lead, outscoring the Crusaders 26-9.
- THE LEDGER
6A: Riverview stays alive
Riverview rolled into the second round of the playoffs with a 56-42 victory over host Mitchell. Mitchell finishes its season at 23-5. Riverview, which is 21-3, moves on to travel to Orlando Boone on Tuesday.
- TIMES STAFF
4A: Gulf rolls past Harmony
NEW PORT RICHEY - Tiara Cook scored 26 points to lead Gulf, ranked third in the state poll, to a 72-31 win over St. Cloud Harmony.
The Gulf defense started forcing turnovers early and converting them to points. Harmony (8-18) had a discordant first period as they committed 11 of their 28 total miscues. Cook had 14 points as Gulf took a 22-9 first-quarter lead. Gulf would lead 38-15 at the half.
Harmony started fouling in the second half and Cook made 10 of 14 free throws. She finished with 13 rebounds. Dominique English added 13 points and Turquoise Sampson had 10.
Leigh Harvey led Harmony with 10 points.
Cook felt her team needed a better effort.
"We didn't come out as we should have in the first quarter," said Cook, who has signed a letter of intent with the University of Tampa. "After we got in motion, our athletic ability took over. We didn't give it all we should have. We need to."
"I thought we came out slow but played better once we got our legs going," Gulf coach Mike Quarto said.
"I couldn't be happier with our defense tonight."
- LARRY BUGG, Times correspondent
3A: SPC has it easy
ST PETERSBURG - The Barons found little resistance from Sarasota Cardinal Mooney in winning 58-20. Center Sasha Chaplin (21 points) sat the final 10 minutes, yet still outscored the Cougars.
"Our inside really took care of business tonight," SPC coach Nick Vandewalle said. "I think that was the definite advantage. When we get that inside outside game going, you have to pick your poison."
Holly Janicki provided the outside portion of the Barons' winning formula. The sophomore guard scored 16 points, taking advantage of the Cougars' defense that sagged in to try and slow the 6-foot-3 Chaplin.