Five women’s high school basketball regional semifinal games are slated for tonight in our area, with all games set to tipoff at 7pm.
After coming off a 60-48 win over Dunnellon in the regional quarterfinal, Eastside (11-14) will travel to take on No. 8 North Marion (24-2) in a Class 5A Region 2 match up.
The Rams and Colts have played each other three times this year, with the Colts winning on all three occasions. Eastside head coach Lance Radford said the key to a victory over North Marion tonight is limiting the Rams’ turnovers.
“A lot of that is caused by what they (North Marion) do defensively. What they’re good at is their defensive pressure, they’re able to stop people,” said Radford. “They’re able to get easy transition points. That’s where they get most of their points, so we’ve got to make sure they don’t get their hands on the basketball, and we don’t just throw it right to them and turn it over.”
Eastside hasn’t reached the regional final since 2006, while North Marion hasn’t reached the regional final since 1999.
After defeating Ocala Trinity Catholic 65-42, P.K. Yonge (19-8) will travel to face South Sumter (15-9) in a Class 4A Region 2 match up.
With 14 Final Four appearances and four state championships, the Blue Wave has reached the Regional Final in eight of the last nine years. P.K. Yonge head coach Willie Powers said he expects a good match up tonight against the Raiders.
“They’re big, well-disciplined, and very strong,” said Powers. “It’s going to be us being able to execute and defend without fouling.”
In a Class 1A Region 3 match up, Hawthorne (13-14) will travel to take on No. 2 Lafayette (20-3).
In the District 6 final, the Hornets lost to Hilliard 70-60. When asked about preparing for the game against Lafayette, Hawthorne head coach Barry Hutchinson said the Hornets have been focused on ball handling and limiting turnovers.
“We’ve got to play together and within what we’ve prepared to do,” said Hutchinson. “We’ve also got to limit the turnovers. If we limit the turnovers and play the defense we’re capable of playing, then we have a good chance.”
The other games tonight include a pair of Class 1A Region 4 matchups.
One game will feature a rematch from last year’s regional semifinal with No. 10 Chiefland (13-6) hosting Crescent City (3-16). Chiefland defeated Crescent City 49-16 in last year’s regional semifinal. This is the second straight playoff appearance for the Indians, who reached their first state tournament last year.
Williston (11-7) will be traveling to face top-seeded No. 1 Wildwood (24-2). In their sixth playoff appearance in eight years, Williston will be looking for their first postseason win since 2003.
For audio clips from Eastside head coach Lance Radford, click below:
For audio clips from P.K. Yonge head coach Willie Powers, click below:
For audio clips from Hawthorne head coach Barry Hutchinson, click below: