Girls basketball playoffs: Four local teams headed to state semis

Bartram Trail, Bishop Kenny, Nease, Raines win regional finals

By Justin Barney - Sports Editor

Four area girls basketball teams punched their tickets for the state semifinals. 

Bartram Trail, Nease, Bishop Kenny and Raines are headed to Lakeland next week after winning their third-round games on Friday night. Sandalwood and Menendez came up short in their games. 

Region 1-8A

Bartram Trail atoned for a loss in the third round a season ago and knocked off Tallahassee Lincoln 55-45. It is the Bears’ first state semifinal trip since 2013.

Bartram (24-6) lost to Lincoln in the third round last season. 

Region 1-7A

Finally! 

After years of near-misses and regional final stumbles, Nease is back in the state semifinals. 

The Panthers knocked off Pensacola Booker T. Washington 65-44 on Friday night. Nease (28-1) will face Fort Myers in the state semifinals in Lakeland on March 1 at noon. The last time the Panthers went this far — 1999 — they won their lone state championship. 

Camille Hobby (20 points, 10 rebounds, five blocks) and Peyton Carter (10 points, 12 rebounds) both had double-doubles for Nease. Kiya Turner narrowly missed a double-double (24 points, nine assists) and Tia Robinson added 11 points. 

“Our key word tonight was relentless, I said we need to be relentless, relentless on defense, attack going to the basket and rebounds and loose balls,” said Nease coach Sherri Anthony. “I knew we were going to win when I saw Camille Hobby dive for a loose ball on the floor. If she’s diving for a ball, we’re going to win. And Kiya, she was a surgeon out there.” 

Region 1-6A

After a long, long wait Bishop Kenny is going back to the state semifinals. 

The Crusaders (28-2) pulled away late and knocked off Tallahassee Rickards 59-53 in the regional  finals on Friday night. Kenny led just 55-53 with 23 seconds left before scratching out free throws to clinch it. 

The last time that Kenny reached the fourth round of the state playoffs was all the way back in 1992, the last of the Crusaders three consecutive state titles. Kenny lost in the regional finals a season ago. 

Kenny will face Bradenton Southeast in the state semifinals on Wednesday at 6 p.m. in Lakeland. 

Region 1-5A
Raines is state semifinal bound for the first time.

Teyana Carswell knocked down a free throw with less than a second remaining to give the Vikings a 56-55 victory over Tallahassee Florida State University High. Carswell finished with 20 points for the Vikings.  

Raines will face Oxbridge Academy on Wednesday at 2 p.m. in Lakeland.

Region 1-9A

Sandalwood’s best season since 1995 came up short in a 52-48 loss on the road at Apopka Wekiva.

The Saints finished their season at 19-7. 

Region 2-6A
Menendez came up short in its first trip to the third round in a 43-34 loss to visiting Weeki Wachee. The Falcons hadn’t won a playoff game prior to this season. 

Friday's scoreboard

Region 1-9A: Wekiva 52, Sandalwood 48

Region 1-8A: Bartram Trail 55, Lincoln 45

Region 1-7A: Nease 65, Washington 44

Region 1-6A: Bishop Kenny 59, Rickards 53

Region 1-6A: Weeki Wachee 43, Menendez 34

Region 1-5A: Raines 56, Florida State High 55

State semifinals schedule

Weds: Bishop Kenny vs. Bradenton Southeast, 6 p.m.

Weds: Raines vs. Oxbridge Academy, 2 p.m.

Friday: Nease vs. Fort Myers, noon

Friday: Bartram vs. Tampa Bay Tech, 2 p.m.


State semifinals

All games at Lakeland Center. 

Weds: Bishop Kenny vs. Southeast, 6 p.m.

Weds: Raines vs. Oxbridge, 2 p.m.

Friday: Nease vs. Fort Myers, noon

Friday: Bartram Trail vs. Tampa Bay Tech, 2 p.m.
 

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