Girls basketball: Raiders start strong but let it slip away

By PETER ARRABAL, Times Correspondent
Published February 2, 2008

Class 6A-8

RIVERVIEW - Sarasota overpowered Plant City 48-25 on Friday.

The Sailors (17-10) now face Sarasota-Riverview, which knocked off Lakeland 55-41.

The Raiders (12-4) took the lead at the end of the first quarter on Quet Shaw's basket just before the buzzer. The Sailors quickly came back, taking the lead on Emilee Batcheler's back-to-back baskets to open the second quarter. Plant City would not regain the lead.

Sarasota went ahead 19-10 at the half.

Plant City cut the lead to five just a few minutes into the third quarter, but Kayla Sprague extended the lead for Sarasota with a 3-pointer.

Nakita Chadwick, who had 14 rebounds, scored her only basket at the buzzer to give Sarasota a 28-19 lead entering the final period.

Sarasota scored 20 in the fourth quarter to put the game away. Batcheler scored a game-high 17 and had nine rebounds

"I'm really proud of my girls," Plant City coach Gina Forte said. "It's disappointing to end this way, but they fought hard all season to get here."