Girls basketball: Top-ranked Dwyer handles Boca Raton
Thursday, February 07, 2013
by Matt Porter
In a December meeting with Dwyer, Boca Raton made 10 three-pointers and put a scare into the county's top-ranked team.
That game - a 67-61 Dwyer win - might have given the Panthers pause.
But Dwyer hits "fast forward" like few other teams in the state.
Allowing Boca just four points in the third quarter - a layup and a pair of free-throws -- Dwyer (21-4) slammed the door on the visiting Bobcats, 66-41 in a Class 8A regional quarterfinal matchup.
Up next for Dwyer, ranked No. 2 in Class 8A in the Florida Association of Basketball Coaches/Source Hoops state poll released this week, is a home game against Palm Beach Gardens on Tuesday in the regional semifinals. Gardens, an upset winner over Park Vista in the county's other 8A regional quarterfinal, lost to Dwyer 73-41 last Saturday in the District 9-8A final.
While Boca's sweet-shooting junior guard Jackie Strobis went 3-of-6 on 3-pointers, the Bobcats were just 6-of-21 as a team. In total, they shot 11-of-45.
"Our game plan was to play outside-in, but our shots weren't falling tonight," said Boca coach Nhu Nguyen, whose team finishes 18-9. "Live by the three, die by the three."
Speeding up Boca's demise: intense pressure from Dwyer's defense, especially senior guard Mykeria Lee. She had a game-high eight steals for Dwyer, which had 23 as a team. Even 6-foot-5 Kai James leaped in front of a pass and made a smart pass for a transition bucket.
Dwyer never trailed, but called timeout when Boca cut its second-quarter lead to 26-16. Dwyer scored 29 of the next 39 points and opened up a 55-26 lead after three quarters. It could have been more lopsided if Dwyer made the bunches of put-backs and free throws it missed.
"We were off under the basket," Panthers coach Jeryl Akins said. "We were big inside, so we were getting rebounds, but we missed that first putback. But we kept the pressure on elsewhere."
As usual, junior point guard Keyanna Harris was uncontainable, collecting 15 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds.
Boca played a 2-3 zone and had more size than Dwyer usually sees, with 6-foot-2 senior Lauren Janka presenting a fair matchup for 6-foot-3, Georgia-bound Sam Glodis. Janka had nine rebounds and eight blocks, including a second-quarter rejection of a Glodis jumper. But Dwyer still had James, the future Florida State post, roaming around, and a slew of quick, hardworking defenders.
"It's a challenge," Janka said. "Not many teams have that height. It's good for me. It's what I'll see in college."
Palm Beach Gardens 45, Park Vista 37: The Gators jumped out to a 27-13 halftime lead over the Cobras (17-10) and held on in the second half to win in Boynton Beach. Courtnie Gadson scored 17 points and Brigitte Zavithsanos added 13 for Gardens. Emily Lochten led Park Vista with 17 points and 11 rebounds.