Thomas pours in 34 as Buchholz girls advance

Buchholz’s Jessica Thomas leads a fast break past Jacksonville Ed White defender Jamara Dunbar during a Class 7A, Region 1 quarterfinal game on Thursday. Buchholz defeated Ed White 79-35.

Matt Stamey/Staff photographer
Published: Thursday, February 7, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, February 8, 2013 at 12:18 a.m.

Buchholz’s girls basketball team wasted little time in silencing the visiting Jacksonville Ed White Commanders in a 79-35 Class 7A regional quarterfinal win at Bud Seymour Gymnasium.

Miami signee Jessica Thomas hit two 3-pointers in the Bobcats’ quick 9-0 start, and never looked back. She led Buchholz (24-4), ranked No. 1 by MaxPreps, with 34 points and five 3-pointers on the night.

“That’s just Jessica’s style of basketball,” said Buchholz coach Rebecca Williams.

Full-court Bobcat pressure led to 20 Ed White turnovers and a host of fast-break opportunities. Thomas’ vision and acrobatic finishes from Devina Mounds and Jaz Rollins pushed the lead to 44-20 at halftime.

The Commanders (20-6) failed to make a late push as Rollins caught fire with 15 of her 23 points coming after the break. Mounds finished with 11 points in support for the Bobcats. Courtney Williams’ three free throws at the end of the third quarter cemented the verdict with a 66-29 lead.

Making their fifth playoff appearance in school history, and first since 2002, Ed White is still searching for its first playoff win. Point guard Tran Brown led the Commanders with 12 points. Forward Tanesha Campbell added eight points down low in the loss.

Buchholz advances to the regional semifinals for the seventh straight season. It will travel to Orange Park Fleming Island on Tuesday at 7 p.m.

“We need to work more on defense and on our offense,” said Williams. “We are our own biggest enemy.”

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