tampabay.com

Girls basketball: Mustangs suffer loss but have a bit of joy

Mitchell's coach welcomes her second son hours before the game.

By JOEY KNIGHT
Published February 2, 2008


TAMPA - Her team had twice as many fouls (20) as field goals, lost by 18 points and watched its season end. What's more, Mitchell coach Stephanie Koslin was bedridden the whole time.

All in all, Friday might have been one of the most miserable days of Koslin's career.

Had it not been so darned blissful.

Several hours before the Mustangs' 51-33 loss to St. Petersburg in the Class 6A, District 7 tournament semifinals, Koslin gave birth to her second son, whose name had not yet been determined, interim coach Jacob Tavo said.

Tavo, who said he spoke with Koslin a couple of hours before the Mustangs tipped off, said the coach and her newest dribbler were fine.

"I've got to give her some bad news, I guess," Tavo said.

Ugly news would be more specific. In a game that featured 41 fouls, the Mustangs (16-10) didn't establish any kind of offensive rhythm, especially after junior center Hanna Bernard was whistled for three fouls in the game's first seven minutes.

The Green Devils (19-5) capitalized on their free-throw chances, hitting 17-of-25, while collecting more steals (13) than turnovers (12). Senior forward Sharlease Hughes led all scorers with 12 points.

Koslin had been on the bench as recently as Wednesday night, when the Mustangs needed two overtimes to defeat Alonso in their tournament opener.

In the other semifinal, Sickles senior Katie MacKenzie hit four 3-pointers to help the top-seeded Gryphons (23-2) pull away for a 50-34 win over Countryside.

Establishing an inside presence early behind senior center Julie Merritt (eight points), Countryside (13-12) led 12-11 before MacKenzie (18 points) responded with her first 3.

The Gryphons would never trail again. Countryside cut its deficit to 24-21 on Danielle Wright's layup, but MacKenzie answered with another long-range rally killer. She then helped seal things with consecutive 3s during a 9-0 run that gave the Gryphons a 37-27 lead.

The Gryphons face the Green Devils at 7 tonight in the final.