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Girls win pair, lose to PK

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By Jim Clark

The Williston Lady Red Devils basketball team came up with two wins against private schools in the past week, both on the road, but then ran into powerful P.K. Yonge at home on Tuesday and fell to the Blue Wave.

Williston defeated Trinity Catholic in a 58-56 thriller a week ago Tuesday, then went to Gainesville to knock off St. Francis, 50-40, on Monday of this week. Tuesday P.K. won, 92-62, as the girls put up a strong effort against the perennial powerhouse.

The Devils play host to Chiefland Thursday, then travel to Newberry next Tuesday.

WILLISTON 58, TRINITY CATHOLIC 56: In Ocala, Williston jumped out to a 16-point halftime lead, hitting six three-pointers in the first 16 minutes. Kaetta Jackson and Margaret Brown had two each.

But in the second half, the Devils watched the Celtic press not only cut into the lead but eventually put Trinity ahead, before some last-minute heroics gave Williston a 58-56 win.

Early in the fourth the Devils had an 11-point lead, but Trinity reeled off 12 in a row to go ahead.

Eventually Trinity had a two-point lead with 46 seconds left after a free throw, but after a time out, Brown scored on a layup with 22 seconds left to tie the score.

After a Trinity miss, Williston came back and missed a shot, but Kim Dobbins was in good position for the rebound and put it back in to give Williston the lead with eight seconds remaining.

The Devils fouled with 4.8 seconds left, but the mistake wasn’t costly as Trinity missed both free throws. Fighting for the rebound, Brown grabbed the loose ball on the floor and, under pressure, called time with 1.9 seconds left.

On the inbounds, Heather Porter got it in to Erica Mason and time ran out.

Jackson finished with 17 points, Brown had 11 and Mason had 10. Dobbins scored eight, Kene Mincey had five, Asha McDonald had four, Simone Cannady had two and Porter had one.

“As young as we are, we showed strength and character,” said coach Jason Odom. “And at the end, it was the veterans (Brown and Dobbins) who stepped up.”

WILLISTON 50, ST. FRANCIS 40: The Devils got another scare in this one, mainly because they couldn’t make free throws, but a fourth-quarter surge put it away.

St. Francis, a Catholic school only in its fourth year of existence, was playing its first game, and it showed as the Wolves had seven fouls in just over four minutes.

But the home team had the lead at 2-0 before the Devils scored eight in a row, four each by Brown and Dobbins.

The lead widened to 17-6 and 21-9 late in the second quarter, before St. Francis scored the last six points of the half to make it 21-15.

With both teams playing a turnover-filled ragged floor game, St. Francis was able to tie the score three times, including a flurry by blond pony-tailed Yasmin Gasser, who sidearmed three straight three-point shots, causing the home crowd, led by the boys’ team, to go wild. But Williston’s Brown sank a three-pointer to make it 33-30 going into the final period.

The Wolves scored five in a row to take the lead early in the fourth, but then Williston’s aggressiveness paid off.

Cannady put in an offensive rebound to tie it, Dobbins scored from underneath after a steal by Brown, and Cannady had a steal for a layup.

Dobbins had an old-fashioned three-point play to make it 42-35. Brown added a free throw, and here’s where the score got fouled up. She had made the basket and it was signaled good as she was fouled, and then the Wolves’ coach got a technical. The scoreboard didn’t credit Brown with those two points, which is why the published scoring totals add up to 52, although the scoreboard said 50.

After that, Mason hit a three-pointer. Brown added a free throw to make it 47-35.

Kene Mincey, who had left the game earlier in some pain after taking a shot to the ribs, returned and hit from underneath on a pass from Brown to end the16-point streak (or 18, if you prefer) as the now eliminated Wolves picked up a few points at the end.

Brown finished with 16 points, Mason had 15, Dobbins scored nine, Cannady had eight and Mallary Brochetti had two but also had a strong first part of the game under the boards.

“This game was a learning experience for us,” Odom said, noting that the team had to learn that he wasn’t going to call time out every time anything went wrong. He praised them for their toughness in the final minutes.

P.K. YONGE 92, WILLISTON 62: This one was nowhere near as bad as the score sounds, as the Devils wouldn’t back down and took it to the visitors the whole game.

The Blue Wave players were much bigger than their Williston counterparts, and the Devils had no answer for the huge rivals in the paint.

Williston fell behind quickly, 8-0, a margin that widened to 32-14 by the time the first period ended. Mason, who would finish with 20 points, had seven in that quarter, helping keep the team within range.

The second period was much better, as the Wave outscored the Devils, 15-14. Brown had a pair of three-pointers and was hitting her free throws. She finished with 22 points.

The Wave started to wear down the attacking Devils in the third, and rushed out to a 62-30 lead, getting dangerously close to the running clock margin of 35. But Williston came back with 10 points in a row, including five by Mason, two by Brown and a three-pointer by Jackson, to quash any ideas the visitors had of shortening the game.

Again in the fourth the Wave came close, getting to a 33-point margin, but the Devils scored six in a row, two each by Mason, Brown and Mincey.

One more time they rallied, this time at 91-57, to score five in a row, including a jumper by Cannady and a three-point play the old-fashioned way by Mason.