Host Jaguars maul Lancers

Offense gets on track

By ROD GIPSON Times Correspondent
Published December 28, 2006

TAMPA - Academy of the Holy Names shook off a sluggish first half, revved up its offense and defeated Cambridge 75-34 in the opening round of the Keeler Memorial Tournament.

Academy, the event's host, outran the Lancers (8-4) during a 25-7 spurt to open the second half to stay unbeaten (15-0). The win sends the Jaguars to tonight's second round against Largo, a 51-28 winner over Jefferson.

"The second half was a little better," said Academy coach Casey Higgins. "We sleptwalked through the first half but we picked it up and definitely had more intensity later on."

Academy had four players in double figures, led by Gianna Messina's 21 points. Katie Davis added 14; Julianne Callahan and Catriana Messina each scored 12.

The other opening-round contests saw Freedom hold off Land O'Lakes 37-33 thanks to a strong second-half defensive effort and 10 points from Charlet Davis; Clearwater topped Plant 52-37.

At Blake

TAMPA - Blake jumped on Clearwater Central Catholic early and often. The Yellow Jackets used a balanced attack to race to a quick 18-2 first-quarter lead and went on to crush the Marauders 54-17. Chenelle Patton, Robyn Williams and Benisha Wilson each scored eight to lead the Yellow Jackets.

In the earlier game, Dunedin used a 22-point third quarter to beat Tampa Bay Tech 61-44. Courtney Jenkins led the Titans with 13.

Justin Dargahi, Times correspondent

At Armwood

TAMPA - St. Petersburg Catholic turned what was once a three-point game early in the second half into a rout, outscoring Sickles 17-7 in the fourth quarter for a 62-47 win. Forward Sasha Chaplin led SPC (10-4) with 23 points and seven rebounds.

Sickles dropped to 8-4 despite 15 points each from Shalonte Snakovsky and Melissa Ramsey.

In the other game, Armwood jumped to an early 9-1 lead and prevented Seminole (4-6) from achieving any offensive rhythm to win 58-29.

Guard Asia Goodman led the Hawks (9-4) with 12 points and forward Megan Fitzpatrick added 11.

"We have to play our way, which is kind of sloppy," Armwood coach Jeff Pafunda said.

Seminole struggled with the Hawks' full-court press and committed numerous turnovers en route to falling to 4-6 for the year.

Brendan Galella, Times correspondent