P.K. Yonge girls masterful in win


Published: Thursday, February 7, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, February 8, 2013 at 12:32 a.m.

When you have won two state basketball titles in the last three years, there are certain expectations that comes with such a run.

Like a dominating performance in every first round of the state playoffs.

P.K. Yonge’s girls basketball team, the defending Class 3A state champions, opened its latest title quest with a convincing 61-22 win over Oviedo Master’s Academy in Tuesday’s Region 1 quarterfinals.

The Blue Wave (21-6), which started pulling its starting lineup in the third period, had nine players score and built such a lead the entire fourth quarter was played with a running clock.

But the journey gets a lot more interesting on Tuesday when P.K. Yonge, ranked No. 5 in FABC-SourceHoops.com poll, travels to Daytona Beach to face No. 2 Father Lopez (25-5).

“You can see the fruits of the tough schedule in that we played 12 people and didn’t miss a beat,” said Blue Wave coach Willie Powers. “Getting up and down the court is very important for us. Hopefully, we can carry this on to the next game.”

Sophomore guard Kiara Mallory led the way for P.K. Yonge, scoring 13 points with three assists in three quarters of play.

Alabama-signee Brooksie McGraw added 11 points and six rebounds, playing just in the first half.

The Blue Wave led 20-9 after the first, 41-15 at half and 55-20 through three periods.

Junior Nikki Corsini led the Eagles with 13 points.

A year ago, Father Lopez came to Gainesville and led by as much as 18 points early before the Niya Johnson-led Blue Wave rallied and won by seven, 57-50. It was the closest game P.K. Yonge had in the playoffs last year.

The Green Wave have three Division 1 players in guards Shannon Cranshaw (George Washington), Simone Brown (Liberty), and 6-foot-2 center Ashley Folsom (Southern Mississippi).

“They are good, are well-coached and they will be at their place,” Powers said. “It is going to be a dogfight, but we will see where it goes. We will just go there and play hard. We have to defend and get up and down on the court.

“I think we are in the toughest bracket by far. Three of the top eight in the state are in our area. It is going to be tough. We just have to take it one game at a time.”

FATHER LOPEZ 65, OAK HALL 22: At Daytona Beach, junior Taylor Tomlinson scored a team-high 11 points in the Eagles’ season-ending loss to the No. 2 Green Wave (25-5).

Father Lopez, which will host No. 5 P.K. Yonge in Tuesday’s regional semifinals, led from the start against Oak Hall , opening an 18-2 lead in the first quarter.

Ashley Folsom led the Green Wave with 23 points. Simone Brown added 12 and Shannon Cranshaw 10.

Oak Hall closed its season at 17-9.

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