Girls Basketball: Dwyer falls in state semifinals
Friday, February 22, 2013
by Matt Porter
Dwyer didn't run out of gas. Dr. Phillips just had a little bit more.
Trying to extend the longest postseason run in its history -- and end its opponent's jaw-dropping streak -- Dwyer hung with Dr. Phillips for four quarters in Friday's Class 8A state semifinals at the Lakeland Center.
But the Panthers from Orlando -- the ones who entered the game with a 66-game winning streak over Florida opponents -- kept their drive for a third consecutive state championship alive, beating the Panthers from Palm Beach Gardens 69-65.
Dr. Phillips (28-3), which will face the Miami-Colonial winner in Saturday's state final, routed Dwyer (24-6) by 30 points and 17 points in regular-season games in the past two seasons.
This game had seven tied scores and 17 lead changes, the last with 1:14 left in the game. Dr. Phillips junior post Ionna McKenzie scored inside to break a 61-all tie.
Dwyer senior guard Kiandra Bowers made a steal and a layup to cut the lead to one, but Dr. Phillips salted the game away by making 5-of-6 foul shots.
"We knew it would come down to whoever had the last run," Dwyer coach Jeryl Akins said. "They had the last run, and we didn't have enough time."
Dwyer owned the paint, with seniors Kai James (15 rebounds) and Sam Glodis (12) contributing to a 51-36 rebound advantage. But Dr. Phillips' speed was the game's biggest factor, and senior point guard Sydnei McCaskill was the best player on the floor. Fast and fearless, she scored a game-high 27 points with seven assists and six rebounds.
"She was picking us apart a couple times," Akins said. "But her complementary players stepped up. You're chasing her, and the others make shots. It's a hard thing to do."
McCaskill, who will play at Georgia next season with Dwyer's Glodis, made 4-of-9 three-pointers and drove to the hoop all night. She was 5-of-6 at the line and committed just one foul. Senior guard Hannah Schiable scored 17 points and contributed six assists and three steals.
Glodis led Dwyer with 20 points on 9-of-21 shooting. James had eight points, working through double- and triple-teams down low.
Junior point guard Keyanna Harris didn't come off the floor, putting up 14 points with seven rebounds and seven assists. With 3:56 left, her three-point play gave Dwyer a 58-56 lead, its first since the 2:49 mark of the third quarter. That also erased Dr. Phillips' largest lead of the game: seven points.
Dwyer led by five points early in the second quarter and hung tough throughout.
"I don't think they were expecting this," Glodis said. "They were expecting to blow us out by 20, like they did every other opponent. We have to keep our heads up. We couldn't have asked for a better game, except for the end."