Girls basketball: Tampa Bay area report — Feb. 19, 2024

The girls basketball playoffs continue with the region semifinals. Here are the capsules for the Tampa Bay area teams playing in each class. The winners advance to the region finals on Thursday.

Class 6A

Region 3
No. 5 Armwood (20-9) at No. 1 Bloomingdale (27-0), 7

This is the fourth time the 6A-10 district rivals have met this season. The host Bulls won the previous three, though two of those victories were by four points or less, including the district final. Bloomingdale fell behind in the first quarter before rallying for a 40-39 victory to win its third straight district title and keep its perfect season intact. After starting the season 8-6, the Hawks have won 12 of their last 15 games.

Stat leaders (per game averages)
PointsNa’Chauncia Welch, 10.4 Noelle Mengel, 20.5
ReboundsAniyah Moreno, 6.6Izellah Kendrick, 7.8
AssistsNa’Chauncia Welch, 3.2Aviance Torres, 2.8
StealsAmaya Richardson, 3.7Noelle Mengel, 2.9
BlocksAniyah Moreno, 1.5Izellah Kendrick, 1.3

No. 3 Wharton (23-4) at No. 2 Punta Gorda Charlotte (16-5), 7

The Wildcats beat Hillsborough in the quarterfinals for their first playoff victory since 2005. That also set the school record for most victories in a season. Now, Wharton tries to keep its dream season going with a matchup against the host Tarpons, who enter on a seven-match win streak.

Stat leaders (per game averages)
PointsTamara Bryant, 10.4Kamie Ellis, 16.1
ReboundsTamara Bryant, 7.3Abigail Willis, 5.6
AssistsNina Green, 4.4Kamie Ellis, 2.1
StealsNina Green, 3.9Kamie Ellis, 2.7
BlocksSydney Hurst, 1.1Abigail Willis, 0.7

Class 5A

Region 2
No. 4 Lecanto (18-7) at No. 1 River Ridge (23-5), 7

The Royal Knights, the top seed in the region, cruised to a 60-32 victory over Bellview in the quarterfinals. It was the 11th straight game River Ridge has held an opponent to 38 points or less. The Panthers, meanwhile, are trying to find some consistency after going 2-2 in their last four games.

Stat leaders (per game averages)
CategoryLecantoRiver Ridge
PointsIjyana Edwards, 15.4Lauren Lee, 11.8
ReboundsAaliyah Beaver, 8.9Lauren Lee, 6.7
AssistsIjyana Edwards, 3.7JP Ferguson, 3.2
StealsBryleigh Florio, 5.0JP Ferguson, 3.2
BlocksAaliyah Beaver, 2.4Lauren Lee, 1.7

No. 6 Spoto (18-9) at No. 2 Leesburg (23-1), 7

The Spartans, who won their second straight 5A-8 district two weeks ago, made history by winning a playoff game for the first time in the quarterfinals. Defense has been the key. Spoto has held opponents to 40 points or less in all but one of its victories this season. Now comes the tough part, a matchup with the Yellow Jackets, who are undefeated at home and enter on a 12-game win streak.

Stat leaders (per game averages)
PointsJayla Griffin, 15.4Saige McCloud, 20.2
ReboundsDominique Boone, 7.2Saige McCloud, 3.9
AssistsJayla Griffin, 2.1Aniyah Hester, 2.4
StealsJayla Griffin, 3.9Ariyana Hester, 4.0
BlocksDominique Boone , 2.6Saige McCloud, 0.3

Region 3
No. 3 Port Charlotte (17-11) at No. 2 Clearwater (16-6), 7

This is the second straight season the host Tornadoes have faced the Pirates in the playoffs. Clearwater won 70-59 in the last year’s region finals. Despite graduating three of its top four leading scorers, the Tornadoes have come together at the right time. After starting 6-4, they have won 10 of their last 12 games. Port Charlotte has won three straight games.

Stat leaders (per game averages)
CategoryPort CharlotteClearwater
PointsAriyanna Lockey-Progl, 12.2Allevia Williams, 17.4
ReboundsHailey Cohen, 8.0Quenya Turner, 4.7
AssistsHailey Cohen, 3.9Allevia Williams, 0.9
StealsMariah Epting, 2.9Allevia Williams, 2.4
BlocksHailey Cohen, 0.9Quenya Turner, 1.4

Class 4A

Region 3
No. 4 Gibbs (14-8) at No. 1 Lakewood (20-4), 7

This is a rematch from a game the host Spartans won 70-59 last month. Lakewood already has taken home PCAC and 4A-10 district titles during its current nine-game win streak. All but two of those victories were by double digits. The Gladiators bounced back from a late season slump to beat Fort Myers Gateway 51-44 in the quarterfinals.

Stat leaders (per game averages)
PointsPeyton Flourney, 14.0Alahni Lovett, 20.2
ReboundsN/ARianna Callihan, 7.3
AssistsN/ASumayah McIntosh, 3.7
StealsN/ASumayah McIntosh, 6.4
BlocksN/ASumayah McIntosh, 2.4

No. 3 Sarasota Booker (14-9) at No. 2 Academy of the Holy Names (21-8), 7

This is the rematch the Jaguars have been waiting for. Last year, Academy of the Holy Names’ season ended with a loss to the Tornadoes in the region final. The Jaguars have won 10 of their last 11 games, the lone loss in that stretch coming against Lakewood in the 4A-10 district final. After starting 7-9, Booker has turned things around with seven straight wins.

Stat leaders (per game averages)
CategoryBookerAcademy of the Holy Names
PointsJakai Peterson, 15.1Lucy Morey, 14.8
ReboundsYvette Brown, 6.1Morgan Hunt, 7.6
AssistsYvette Brown, 2.7Lucy Morey, 4.1
StealsJakai Peterson, 3.5Lucy Morey, 3.3
BlocksJakai Peterson, 0.5Tegan Drinkwater, 1.5

Class 3A

Region 2
No. 4 Melbourne Holy Trinity Episcopal (14-11) at No. 1 Seffner Christian (23-4), 7

The Crusaders, ranked fourth in class by MaxPreps, have won six straight games. Three of Seffner Christian’s four losses this season were by single digits. After starting the season 6-8, the Tigers have won eight of their last 11 games.

Stat leaders (per game averages)
CategoryHoly Trinity EpiscopalSeffner Christian
PointsAllinah Sarratt, 11.2Nicole Carreno, 15.2
ReboundsJadalynn Morel, 4.4Nicole Carreno, 6.2
AssistsKylie Green, 1.3Jade Thompson, 5.1
StealsKylie Green, 1.6Nevaeh Lee, 4.4
BlocksAllison Lagrone, 0.3Nicole Carreno, 0.6

Region 3
No. 4 Tampa Prep (15-9) at No. 1 Sarasota Cardinal Mooney (20-6), 7

Playing a tough schedule has paid off for the Terrapins. They are 4-1 in their last five games, including a 76-54 victory over Clearwater Central Catholic in the quarterfinals. To keep that momentum going, Tampa Prep will have to get past the Cougars, the top seed in the region. Cardinal Mooney, winners of 11 straight games, is playing its best basketball at the right time.

Stat leaders (per game averages)
CategoryTampa PrepCardinal Mooney
PointsGabby Bush, 15.6Kali Barrett, 14.2
ReboundsN/AMadi Mignery, 10.4
AssistsN/ABri Behn, 3.6
StealsN/ASy’Monique Simon, 1.9
BlocksN/AMadi Mignery, 0.9

No. 3 Fort Myers Bishop Verot (21-6) at No. 2 Tampa Catholic (20-6), 7

The Crusaders, led by the 1-2 scoring punch of Ashley Knox and Khalia Woodley, extended their win streak to 10 games with a 63-30 win over Bradenton Christian in the quarterfinals. That stretch includes victories over North Tampa Christian, Academy of the Holy Names, Gibbs and Wharton, all of which are still alive in the playoffs. The Vikings know to prevail in close games. Two of their last four wins were decided five points or less.

Stat leaders (per game averages)
CategoryBishop VerotTampa Catholic
PointsCameron O’halloran, 15.9Ashley Knox, 15.9
ReboundsJosee Fry, 10.6Ashley Knox, 6.3
AssistsCameron O’halloran, , 2.4Khalia Woodley, 3.3
StealsCameron O’halloran, 2.9Akyla Lloyd, 2.0
BlocksN/AAshley Knox, 0.6

Class 2A

Region 2
No. 3 Mount Dora Christian (18-9) at No. 2 North Tampa Christian (21-2), 7

The Titans have already done some impressive things in their first year as a member of the Florida High School Athletic Association. They have already won a district title and are ranked fifth in the class by MaxPreps. Now they are one game away from a region final appearance. The Bulldogs have won their last four games by 22 or more games.

Stat leaders (per game averages)
CategoryMount Dora ChristianNorth Tampa Christian
PointsAranya Alexander, 8.6Arianna Murray, 21.1
ReboundsTai Haynes, 5.8Arianna Murray, 7.3
AssistsNatalie Doan, 5.0Aliyah Harris-Green, 5.7
StealsNatalie Doan, 2.9Aliyah Harris-Green, 5.0
BlocksCassi Monn, 0.7Cali Midyett, 1.2

Region 3
No. 4 Keswick Christian (23-4) at No. 1 Fort Myers Evangelical Christian (22-3), 7

The Crusaders, winners of six straight games, have the misfortune of being in one of the toughest districts in the state. Despite being ranked sixth in the class by MaxPreps, Keswick Christian has to travel to Fort Myers to take on Evangelical Christian in a rematch of last year’s region final. The defending state semifinalist Sentinels have won nine straight games.

Stat leaders (per game averages)
CategoryKeswick ChristianEvangelical Christian
PointsAva Graham, 21.2Maddie O’berski, 11.8
ReboundsAngel L’eon, 6.2Zaira Mitchell, 4.8
AssistsAva Graham, 3.7Jadah Toombs, 3.5
StealsAva Graham, 2.7Kellisia Grant, 2.7
BlocksAngel L’eon, 1.0Maddie O’berski, 0.8