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Eagles run over by 'the Diesel''

By GREG AUMAN

© St. Petersburg Times, published December 19, 2000


BROOKSVILLE -- To keep up with Hernando, a team needs to be able to keep up with the Leopards' dominant frontcourt players.

Four minutes into Monday's game, Springstead coach Whit Campbell found his starting forwards sitting next to him on the bench, one with injury and the other picking the wrong night to get a bad case of first-quarter foul trouble.

The score was 5-5 when the Eagles' Roe Finlayson got her third foul, and from there it wasn't even close. Hernando went on a 34-4 run, emptied its bench and stayed unbeaten in district play with a 52-24 victory over Springstead.

"We got off to a slow start, and (Finlayson) went out with three fouls that quick. I was like, "How many fouls does she have?' Hernando coach Rodney Byrd said. "She's a good ballplayer, but I don't know if she can handle Bernice."

Bernice is junior forward Bernice Mosby, who had 24 points and 16 rebounds and would have outscored the Eagles by herself were it not for three points in the final eight seconds.

"You've got to go with the Diesel, like Shaq," Byrd said. "She's our Diesel. That's why we put her in that position. We put the ball in her hands."

With Finlayson on the bench and junior Samantha Hunt sidelined with a knee injury, Springstead not only had little to stop Mosby, but little to show on the offensive side as well. The Eagles went more than a quarter without scoring, missing 17 consecutive field-goal attempts. Despite spending 12 minutes on the bench, Finlayson scored more than the rest of the Eagles combined, scoring her team's final nine points.

"We can't make any shots," said Campbell, whose team shot 19 percent from the field. "We go from a team that was averaging over 20 points in the first quarter to one that can't score. We have to reinvent ourselves offensively, somehow."

Hernando (8-1, 4-0 in Class 4A, District 7) led 26-8 at the half and overcame 34 percent shooting by forcing 25 turnovers from the Eagles (4-6, 2-4). Springstead plays Thursday at Land O'Lakes while Hernando is off until a Jan. 4 trip to Dunnellon.

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