Basketball: King's Academy girls capture district title
Saturday, February 02, 2013
by Matt Porter
King's Academy senior Cat Urso heard a few baritones bellowing "M-V-P" as she went to the free-throw line with 7.9 seconds remaining Saturday night. She deserved to be recognized, but she wasn't the only one.
Urso scored her 1,000th career point as part of a 15-point, 15-rebound effort, but her and her teammates' defensive effort was more important in their 37-32 victory over eighth-ranked Benjamin in the District 13-2A championship. It's the first district championship for the Lions since going back-to-back in 2008 and '09.
"We knew it was going to be a slugfest," said King's coach Richie Leber, in his eighth season. "They're a great team. We had the mantra that if we can play defense, we're going to win this game."
The third-seeded Lions (16-11) needed a better plan after losing twice to top-seeded Benjamin during the regular season - once by 24 points - and losing two-of-three to close the regular season. They'll host Naples-St. John Neumann in the 3A regional quarterfinals at 7 p.m. Thursday. King's lost 41-30 to Neumann on Dec. 1.
"We're playing much better now," Leber said.
Benjamin (19-8) visits powerful Naples-Community, a state championship contender, on Thursday. The Bucs, which cracked the 50-point barrier 11 times this season, will need to regain the offensive rhythm King's stunted for four quarters.
King's junior Shannon Burt did an admirable job playing defense on Benjamin junior Riley Burke, who scored a game-high 16 but was pressured into several low-percentage shots. Burke was 7-of-9 at the line. Burt fouled out with 1:31 to go.
Urso and junior forward Heather Brown (13 points) led the way for King's, which led by as many as 12 points early in the half and never trailed.
No. 1 Dwyer 73, Palm Beach Gardens 41: Kai James and Ayanna Holmes each scored 14 points to lead the top-seeded Panthers past the third-seeded Gators (13-8) in the championship in Wellington.
No. 5 Palm Beach Lakes 61, Royal Palm Beach 25: Shanovia Dove scored 25 points and Jackie Johnson added 14 to lead the top-seeded Rams (17-10) to the rout of the second-seeded Wildcats (7-16) in the championship in West Palm Beach.
Sebastian River 61, Martin County 53: Jordan McHardy scored 15 points and Mariah Newkirk added 12, but the third-seeded Tigers (17-10) fell to the top-seeded Sharks in Fort Pierce. The Tigers will play at Sarasota on Thursday in the regional quarterfinals.
No. 3 Boynton Beach 69, Suncoast 43: Shakoa Edwards had 17 points, 10 steals and 12 assists and Taija Johnson added 15 points and four rebounds to help the top-seeded Tigers (21-5) handle the third-seeded Chargers in the championship in Boynton Beach.
Trinity Christian 54, Yeshiva 32: Qeyocia Thomas scored 22 points and Alicia McCray added 19 to lead the Warriors (14-6) over the Storm in the championship in Delray Beach.
No. 4 Grandview Prep 63, Boca Raton Christian 19: Neydja Petithomme had 26 points, 15 rebounds and eight blocks and Vionise Pierre-Louis added 23 points to lead the top-seeded Pride (22-2) to the rout of the third-seeded Blazers in the championship in Boca Raton.
No. 7 St. Andrew's 75, Pope John Paul II 59: George Andino scored 22 points and Mark Korner added eight assists to lead the Scots (18-3) over the Eagles in Boca Raton. Kevin Johnston made five 3-pointers and scored 21 points for Pope.