Suwannee senior sparks her team

Published: Sunday, January 16, 2011 at 11:58 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 16, 2011 at 11:58 p.m.

No one on Suwannee's girls basketball team was happy with their one-point lead. Instead of an impassioned halftime speech, coach Brent Chambers had a different strategy — just let Tatiyana Thomas play.

The senior responded by scoring 23 of her 32 points in the second half against Tallahassee Godby, which pushed the final lead to 11. The guard averaged 20 points, five rebounds, 6.3 assists and three steals during the Bulldogs' 3-0 week.

“She really put us on her shoulders in the second half (against Godby),” Chambers said. “She knew what was on the line.”

The Bulldogs came back in the second half of Thursday's game by setting picks on Godby's man-to-man defense to “get her some easy baskets,” Chambers said.

Thomas, a captain, notched 11 points and seven assists in limited action against Fort White earlier in the week and added 17 points and seven assists in a game with Williston. That balance impresses Chambers, who has seen Thomas become a more well-rounded player.

“She's become a much better defender, especially for a guard,” he said, also pointing to her passing as another area of marked improvement. “She goes out and gets four or five assists a game. Not only does she score, but she really distributes the ball.”

The first-year head coach worked with Thomas as an assistant coach since she was a freshman. “Her first two years, she was more of a scorer,” he said. “Now, she's a much better basketball player.”

Chambers described Thomas as a “real fun person to be around,” with a very outgoing and engaging personality. “I'm lucky to be her coach.”


RON FOXX, P.K. YONGE: The senior had a huge game against Hawthorne, scoring a career-high 26 points and adding a career-high 26 rebounds. The Blue Wave forward followed that up with seven points and 14 rebounds against St. Francis.


JARED HENDRY, SUWANNEE: The Bulldogs goalkeeper made 10 saves in two shutout wins and added another 10 saves in a 1-0 loss to Jacksonville Bishop Kenny. The senior has 10 shutouts on the season.


THOMAS HERLEVICH, GAINESVILLE: The sophomore continued his turnaround season by going 6-1 at Suwannee's Billy Saylor Invitational, pushing his season win total to more than 30. The 140-pound wrestler's lone loss came by one point as he led the Hurricanes to a fourth-place finish in the 12-team meet.

Honorable mention


MONTRELL BRYANT, HAWTHORNE: In a blowout against Oak Hall, the sophomore racked up 21 points and 11 rebounds in the Hornets' 62-39 win.

QUENTIN JOHNSON, UNION COUNTY: The Tiger scored 20 points and 13 rebounds in a close 69-62 loss to Bradford.

CARTAESHA MACKLIN, LAFAYETTE: The senior racked up a quadruple-double against Tallahassee North Florida Christian, tallying 22 points, 10 rebounds, 12 assists and 11 steals.

WHITNEY TAYLOR, HAWTHORNE: The senior forward posted 16 points and 11 rebounds for the Hornets against Oak Hall.


HAVANA SOLAUN, BUCHHOLZ: In a crosstown showdown against Eastside, the forward scored four goals and had two assists as the Bobcats won 6-2.

STUART BROWN, SUWANNEE: In two wins, the senior forward contributed three goals and four assists for the Bulldogs.

MEGAN FOSTER, GAINESVILLE: The senior notched three goals in a 7-0 Hurricanes win over Oak Hall and added another score against P.K. Yonge, a 2-0 victory.

MARTIN GIBLIN, GAINESVILLE: The senior defender scored twice and added two assists in a 9-1 rout of Interlachen

KELLY POWELL, GAINESVILLE: The senior, playing center fullback, led the Hurricanes defense in two shutout wins, playing nearly every minute.

Athletes of the week are determined by nominations from area coaches. Coaches are asked to call in every Sunday between 4-7 p.m.

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