The Williston girls finished second in the Class 3A, District 5 basketball tournament last week, and will travel to Lake Butler to face Union County this Thursday.
The second-seeded team knocked off Newberry, 67-46, in the semifinals, then fell to P.K. Yonge 65-45 on Saturday in what got to be a nasty district final.
In Friday's game, Williston let Newberry hang around for quite a while before pulling away in the second half.
Margaret "Nana" Brown has a monstrous game, scoring 24 points and grabbing 15 rebounds. Erica Mason had 14, Kim Dobbins scored nine points and pulled down 12 boards, Kene Mincey had eight points and nine rebounds and Kaetta Jackson had five points and six rebounds. Heather Porter, Mallary Brochetti and Simone Cannady each added two points, while A'sha McDonald had one point but added six rebounds.
Late in the second quarter Williston's lead was cut to 28-190 before Mincey hit two free throws and Jackson had a jumper. After a Newberry basket, Dobbins closed out the half by putting back an offensive rebound, one of Williston's 53 rebounds in the game.
Then in the third a six-point spurt by Mason, Brown and Mincey widened it to a 13-point lead and Newberry never recovered.
DISTRICT FINAL: P.K. pulled away early, leading 21-8 after the first period, but never really dominated as it had earlier this season. The Blue Wave were called for eight fouls in the first quarter, then got more in the second, including two technicals on Jaterra Bonds, who was ejected before the intermission. She had already scored 12 points.
By the end of the third quarter, when the Newberry clock operator mistakenly tried to turn to a running clock, the lead was 33, but Williston outscored the Wave 15-3 in the final period to cut it to 20. The Devils missed a chance for 14 points at the line with missed free throws.
Near the end of the game the Blue Wave bench went into a taunting organized cheer, but the Williston fans returned the favor, chanting "cheaters, cheaters," drawing a dirty look from the P.K. coach and spilling it over into some shouting matches after the game among the adults, not the players.
If both teams win Thursday, they will play again Tuesday at P.K. Yonge in Gainesville.
As far as Thursday goes, Williston coach Jason Odom was optimistic despite Union County's 19-3 record. He has seen them play and says "They're about the same as us."
He added that he was proud of his team's effort against P.K. "We stood up to them. Most teams cave in and quit, but we don't give up."