Hornets cruise past ’Canes, 61-30

Weeki Wachee’s Shayleese Vazquez goes high versus Citrus High in the Class 6A, District 7 semifinal match at Nature Coast Technical High in Brooksville. Photo by JOE DiCRISTOFALO
Weeki Wachee’s Princess Hester (11) attempts to get past a Citrus defender in the Class 6A, District 7 semifinal game WEdnesday match at Nature Coast Technical High in Brooksville. Photo by JOE DiCRISTOFALO
Nature Coast’s Danielle Crima works against Crystal River High’s Jaliyah DeVaughn in the Class 6A, District 7 semifinal Wednesday at Nature Cost Technical High in Brooksville. Photo by JOE DiCRISTOFALO

GIRLS BASKETBALL

Host NCT loses

in OT to CRHS

in nightcap, 65-62

By TONY CASTRO

HernandoSport.com

BROOKSVILLE – An omen of a pending long night arrived early when fourth-seeded Citrus High misfired on its initial five field goal attempts against top-seeded Weeki Wachee.

The Hornets took advantage of Inverness crew missing 11 of its 13 first quarter-FG tries to trail after eight minutes, 22-4.

Meanwhile, WWHS seniors Seytia Hill and MyKenna Corbett combined for 16 first period points en route to a running clock in the fourth quarter, of a one-sided 6A-7 semifinal win, 61-30.

The victory advanced the Hornets (22-4) to its third straight district final at 7 p.m. Friday against Crystal River.

The second-seeded Pirates (19-4) survived an overtime scare by host and sixth-seeded Nature Coast Technical (7-17), 65-62.

WWHS wins

On a night the ’Canes (8-14 overall) dropped its third game this season to WWHS, the Citrus County cagers eventually suffered a game-high 26 turnovers and misfired on 33-of-its 45 FG attempts.

Only sophomore Andrea Palazon had much success against the much taller WWHS defense dropping in 12 points between the second and third quarters.

For the defending district champion Hornets, Hill and Corbett each finished up with 19 points apiece.

Shayleese Vazquez

The third member of the ‘Big 3’, senior Shayleese Vasquez, added 12 points.

WWHS chalked up its fifth straight series win over Citrus since falling at home Jan. 17, 2017, 42-34.

Morgan McDaniel

When WWHS sophomore point guard Morgan McDaniel converted a layup with 5:55 swelling the Hornets’ largest lead of the game to 61-25 – that triggered a 35-point running clock for the remainder of the game.

The Hornets protected the basketball a little better, committing 19 turnovers but were much more efficient offensively draining 25 of 58 FG attempts (43 percent).

Post-game analysis

Palazon, a foreign exchange student from Spain explained, “They (WWHS) were better because they were faster and were much more skilled than we were,” revealed the 15-year-old.

“We came into the game with high intensity, but kept falling behind. In the end, we just gave up.”

Regardless of how the final game concluded, “I’m really proud of my teammates and this team,” added Palazon.

Third-year CHS mentor July Bryant was more direct, “Weeki Wachee is a great team. They’ve had a great team for the last three years. Our defense definitely slacked up tonight.

“We were so concerned with their perimeter shooting, they hurt us inside. It didn’t help when one of best players (Reeves) got into early foul trouble with three fouls.”

“I’m still very proud of this team,” added Bryant. “This was a completely different team than we had as a whole.”

Hill, who walked in averaging over 12.0 points and 10 rebounds per game, admitted the pressure was on WWHS.

Seytia Hill

“The last few days of practice you could feel the intensity for this game. It was either go hard tonight or go home,” noted the 18-year-old Hill. “We came out with a lot of intensity and didn’t take anything for granted.”

Describing Citrus, “They put up a fight. They’ve improved a lot.”

On what has to happen for the Hornets to earn the program’s first repeat crown, “Our defense has to be A-1 on Friday. We have to cut down on the errors,” replied Hill.

Mykenna Corbett

Corbett, who arrived averaging over 14.0 ppg, “Give Citrus credit. They came out hard, but we came out harder. They did not want to lose this game. I think we wanted it just a little more.”

On the difference, “We executed a little better. We had better passing tonight. Perhaps one of the best games we’ve had all season,” she said.

On Friday, “We’re not talking to the refs and we can’t afford sloppy passes. We’ve got to work hard on every possession,” emphasized Corbett.

Class 6A, District 7

Girls Basketball Tournament Recap

Quarterfinals

02-04:

@ Crystal River

Crystal River 68, Central 25

02-05:

Quarterfinals

@ Brooksville-Nature Coast Technical

Citrus 43, Lecanto 40

Nature Coast Technical 59, Hernando 47

02-06:

Semifinals

@ Brooksville-Nature Coast Technical

Weeki Wachee 61, Citrus 30

Crystal River 65, Nature Coast Technical 62 (OT)

02-08:

Championship

@ Brooksville-Nature Coast Technical

Crystal River vs. Weeki Wachee, 7 p.m.

Weeki Wachee 61,

Citrus 30

 1  2

3

 4

TOT

CIT

4

13

8

5

30

WW

22

16

17

6

61

CITRUS (30) – Palazon 5 2-2 12, Reeves 2 2-2 7, Washington 2 0-2 4, Reneau 1 1-4 3, Harris 1 0-0 2, Henry 0, Vott 1 0-0 2. Totals: 12 5-10 30.

WEEKI WACHEE (61) – McDaniel 1 2-2 4, Randall 0, Corbett 7 2-2 19, Vasquez 6 0-0 12, Hill 8 3-6 19, Sereda 0, Hester 2 0-0 4, Lettis 0, Crowley 1 0-0 3. Totals: 25 7-10 61.

3-point goals – CIT (1): Reeves. WW (4): Corbett (3), Crowley.

Total fouls: CIT: 10. WW: 12.

Fouled out – none.

Technical fouls – none.

Records: Citrus (1-1 tourney, 8-14 overall), Weeki Wachee ( 1-0 tourney, 22-4 overall)..

 

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