Rough start sinks St. Augustine girls hoops team in state semifinals

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A tough first half made it a long game for the St. Augustine girls basketball team.

The Yellow Jackets endured a rough start against Melbourne Palm Bay in a 67-36 loss in the Class 5A state semifinals on Thursday afternoon at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland. It was St. Augustine’s first final four trip since 2001.

The Yellow Jackets led one time, 3-2, just a minute and a half into the game. Things spiraled quickly from there as Palm Bay roared to a 21-point halftime lead and never looked back.

St. Augustine (26-2) entered having won 21 consecutive games.

Janiyah Jackson had a solid game for the Yellow Jackets, posting a double-double (16 rebounds, 12 points). Ronnie Hannah followed with six points.

The cold start coupled with a Palm Bay team that was red hot from just about everywhere on the court took away the suspense. Palm Bay erased St. Augustine from the 3-point arc (4 for 25) while hitting nearly half of its tries from 3.

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