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The Warhawks take advantage of 27 Eagles turnovers for a 57-30 win.
By JOHN SCHWARB
© St. Petersburg Times,
published December 4, 2001
SEMINOLE -- Midway through the fourth quarter, East Lake coach Willie Hopkins loudly palmed the basketball in frustration. That was exactly the problem -- the ball was in his hands, not the girls who he pleaded with to protect it.
Seminole, with its pressure defense and up-tempo offense, played host to an East Lake team Monday that came in with a recent history of ball-control troubles. The result was about what one would expect, as the Warhawks cruised 57-30.
In the first half, Seminole came out somewhat flat, missing several lay-ups and other easy looks that would have put East Lake in a far bigger hole than 23-13 at the break. But East Lake showed signs of trouble with 15 turnovers in the half, and the problems continued in the second half.
Through the first 3 minutes, 38 seconds of the third quarter, East Lake scored on just one of eight possessions with five ending in turnovers and another on a blocked shot by Beth Taylor. Going the other way, Seminole rattled off 10 points, including six from C.J. Conley to take a 35-15 lead.
"We turned it up a notch," Seminole coach Dave Swanson said. "I think our pressure in the second half got to them, and it resulted in points for us at the offensive end."
East Lake (1-3) finished with 27 turnovers, some coming directly from Warhawks pressure but others coming from bad passes and other miscues.
"It's been like that since our first scrimmage," said Hopkins, a first-year coach. "There's silly passes that we just keep making, and we can't do anything if we keep making those turnovers.
"It wasn't too much (Seminole) as much as us. We're forcing stuff, and when we get flustered, we don't think."
East Lake also got into foul trouble in each half. Center Nicole Britenriker was a force early in the game on the boards, but picked up three fouls in less than three minutes in the second quarter. She fouled out with 2:01 remaining in the game.
Before Britenriker went to the bench in the second quarter, East Lake was hanging in, even putting together a 6-0 run to get to 13-13 with 3:46 left. But Jen Hansen got going with her slashing moves to the basket, hitting two shots and adding two free throws in a 10-0 run for Seminole.
Hansen, a Times first-team all-county selection last year, scored 22 points and added four assists. In a span of 1:44 in the fourth quarter, when Seminole pulled away, she drove in twice for lay-ups, hit two free throws and fed Conley underneath for another basket.
Alli Fogle came off the bench to score 15 for Seminole, and Conley had nine. Melissa Moukawsher had nine points to lead East Lake.
The Warhawks moved to 4-1 on the season, their only loss so far coming in a season-opening tournament to Winter Haven All Saints' Academy, a 2000 state finalist in Class A.
"Last year, we started out not as hot," said Swanson. "I feel the chemistry is real good right now with the girls, and that makes a difference in how you start out."