Girls prep basketball region finals
Published: Saturday, March 1, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, February 28, 2003 at 11:16 p.m.
EASTSIDE (25-3) at OCALA VANGUARD (29-2)WHEN: 7:30 tonight.ADMISSION: $6RANKINGS: Eastside is fifth; Vanguard is third.HOW THEY GOT HERE: Eastside beat unranked Port Orange Atlantic, 48-42, and unranked Land O'Lakes, 70-38; Vanguard beat 16th-ranked Gainesville, 84-55, and unranked New Port Richey Ridgewood, 62-36.ANALYSIS: A coach whose club played both teams this year said she expects a good game. She said if the Rams shoot well from three-point range, rebound effectively and play good post defense, they very well could be making the trip to the final four in Lakeland next week. That said, Vanguard, a 2002 final four participant, is most known for Jessica Dickson, a South Florida signee who averages a little less than 30 ppg and is one of the state's five best seniors. But don't think she's the whole show, as the coach who has played both teams said Dickson is supported ably by her teammates. Still, Eastside had nine players score in the regional semifinal victory against Land O'Lakes, and three reached double-figures, so the Rams figure to have a depth advantage.WHAT'S NEXT: The winner will face the winner of the Region 1 final between No. 1-ranked Jacksonville Ribault (28-1) and No. 8-ranked Tallahassee Godby (23-4) in a state semifinal next Thursday at The Lakeland Center.PREDICTION: Eastside 67, Vanguard 65
JACKSONVILLE EPISCOPAL (18-6) at P.K. YONGE (22-4)WHEN: 7:30 tonight.ADMISSION: $6.RANKINGS: Episcopal is unranked; P.K. Yonge is first.HOW THEY GOT HERE: Episcopal beat unranked. Hawthorne, 48-41, and unranked Hamilton County, 59-43; P.K. Yonge beat unranked Hilliard, 84-42, and unranked Dixie County, 102-55.ANALYSIS: Blue Wave coach Willie Powers says his team is playing better than it has all year, and that's no surprise, as the Blue Wave have reached two-of-the-last-three final fours and know how to win in the postseason. In the first round, P.K. Yonge doubled Hilliard's score and nearly did the same to Dixie County in Round Two. Episcopal is led by Avery Poindexter, a very good outside shooter. However, it likely will take a near-perfect game from everyone to keep up with Ashley McDonald and Co. That's probably asking too much, as the Blue Wave probably have too much talent and depth. Don't expect P.K. Yonge to reach its near 95 ppg playoff average, as Episcopal would be crazy to try to run, but don't expect the outcome to be determined by less than 20.WHAT'S NEXT: The winner will face the winner of the Region 1 final between No. 11-ranked Tallahassee Florida High (18-10) and No. 9-ranked Pensacola Catholic (23-9) in a state semifinal next Thursday at The Lakeland Center.PREDICTION: P.K. Yonge 75, Episcopal 52