Streaks down Dragons

SEBRING - The Sebring girls basketball team utilized its superior athleticism and experience to roll past Lake Placid by a score of 50-17 on Friday night. The lopsided victory improved the Class 5A Blue Streaks to 2-1 on the season. "I'm pleased with the way we played," said Sebring coach Mike Lee. "We wanted to match the energy and intensity that Lake Placid always plays with and I thought we did that. "We have the experience to be able to do multiple things on offense and defense and we have challenged the girls to communicate on the floor and execute what we want done." The loss dropped the Class 4A Green Dragons to 0-1.
"I expected us to get beat up pretty good," said Lake Placid coach Jackie Coyne. "We have a very young and inexperienced team, but we got outhustled and outrebounded and that bothered me. "The worst thing was we quit and some of our girls were pouting and had very poor attitudes. "We're going to take our lumps, but we can't be negative, we just have to keep working hard to get better." Sebring jumped out to a quick 9-0 lead in the opening minutes of the game behind the superb inside play of senior forward Jazmin House and a tenacious full-court press. House scored eight of her game-high 16 points in the paint and the Blue Streaks forced several Green Dragon turnovers which were turned easy baskets. "We've been working on a number of presses," Lee said. "We have the quickness and length that you need to apply pressure and we did a good job of cutting off the passing lanes. "We want to force turnovers, get easy baskets and take teams out of their offense." When Sebring did miss a shot, House, who finished with 13 rebounds, would score or senior teammate Jamiese Wiley, who finished with 14 points, was there for the putback. Blue Streak junior guard Christacia Dawkins scored six of her nine points to give Sebring a commanding 23-4 lead heading into the second quarter. "We did a great job on the boards," Lee said. "Jazmin and Jamiese give us a strong inside presence and they both did a great job of getting good position." Sebring pulled out of its full-court press in the second quarter and utilized a zone defense to force Lake Placid to shoot from the outside. Sebring built its advantage as House poured in six points and Olivia Burnett added four of here eight points to give the Blue Streaks 34-9 lead at the half. "It's kind of fun when we can switch defenses and confuse our opponents," Lee said. "We have the athletes to do that and hopefully we have the basketball IQ to be able to execute under pressure." The Blue Streaks stayed in their zone defense for most of the second half and with the big lead, a number of girls were able to get valuable floor time. Sebring led 44-15 heading into the final eight minutes. Lake Placid, which was led by Raveen Gobourne's five points, used a number of players as well in the second half which is important for a young and inexperienced squad. "We have a lot of girls with very little game experience," Coyne said. "The more they play the more comfortable they should be on the floor." Sebring ran a deliberate offense to use clock in the last quarter and cruised to the win. The Blue Streaks are back on the floor on Monday with a road game at Clewiston. "This is a great group of girls," Lee said. "We don't have any bad attitudes and we have one goal of becoming a better basketball team." Lake Placid is at district rival Avon Park on Tuesday. "We have to buy in to get better," said Coyne. "We only have two returning starters and I can only do so much as a coach, the rest is up to them." 863-386-5837