Girls basketball: Spartans, Pirates shrug off slow starts

By Chris Girandola
Published February 2, 2008

SEMINOLE - Lakewood arrived just minutes before its semifinal against Gibbs due to transportation problems.

The late arrival showed as the Spartans fell behind early. A timeout by coach Necole Tunsil propelled Lakewood to a 12-5 run to finish the first quarter and the Spartans never looked back Friday.

Kerah Nelson led all scorers with 19 points as the Spartans (16-5) won 47-34 to advance to the final against Boca Ciega, which beat Dixie Hollins 64-40.

"It was pretty tough for us to get warmed up there at the beginning but after we got into the flow of things, we did all right," Tunsil said. "Kerah and Latesha (Johnson) did a great job picking up the intensity for our team. Kerah hit some baskets when we needed them and Latesha did a phenomenal job running the offense."

The top-seeded Pirates (23-4) held just a 30-23 lead over the Rebels (7-16) at halftime but exploded for a 23-7 scoring output in the third quarter to put the game away. Eight players scored in the quarter. Tania Taylor led the Pirates with 14 points. Dixie Hollins forward Tori Robison led all scorers with 18 points.