Girls basketball: Wildcats roll, close in on conference title

By JOEY KNIGHT, Times Staff Writer
Published January 24, 2008

WESLEY CHAPEL - Considering how his 2006 conference championship club mercilessly dismantled local competition, Gulf coach Mike Quarto isn't likely to elicit any sympathy from opponents during his program's leaner times.

Sure enough, Wesley Chapel didn't provide any Wednesday night.

The Wildcats (19-4) held the injury-depleted Bucs (17-7) to six second-half points - all free throws - in a 48-19 romp that put Wesley Chapel within one victory of the Sunshine Athletic Conference title. The Wildcats can clinch the SAC with a win today at Zephyrhills.

"We played with a lot of energy," said Wesley Chapel coach Warren Jones, whose club allowed only six field goals. "It was a special night, senior night; I think the emphasis was on going out with a bang."

By contrast, Gulf went out banged up. Leading scorer Jordan Schulman (shoulder stinger) played only a couple of minutes before exiting for the night, and starting power forward Colleen McAuliffe (flu) didn't play at all.

Meantime, freshman Nicole Adams (10 points) played the entire game with a deep left calf bruise, and senior center Lindsey Brooks (four) played despite undergoing a root canal Wednesday morning.

"It is what it is," Quarto said.

Jones, who started five seniors, watched his defense essentially deny Gulf any dribble penetration or second shots.

Senior Cree McIver led the Wildcats with 13 points, while junior Janelle Mills added eight.

Wesley Chapel 48 Gulf 19