Buchholz advances to 6th straight regional final

Published: Tuesday, February 12, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 12:29 a.m.

ORANGE PARK - Behind 36 points from Jessica Thomas, Buchholz advanced to its sixth straight regional final Tuesday with a 63-59 road win against Orange Park Fleming Island in the Class 7A, Region 1 semifinals.

Thomas, a senior point guard and Miami-signee, also led the Bobcats with five assists, while junior guard Jazlynd Rollins reached double figures with 14 points. Keona Thompson, a freshman, hauled in a team-high 14 rebounds for Buchholz.

Fleming Island (25-6) was paced by Kenyia Johnson's 23 points and Madison Nykamp, who scored 12.

The Bobcats (25-4) will travel again Saturday at 7 p.m. when they face Viera in the Region 1 final. The two teams met during the regular season in December, with Buchholz winning by one, 62-61.

TRINITY CATHOLIC 80, BRADFORD 76 (OT): At Trinity Catholic, Bradford got 29 points and 28 rebounds from post standout Nyasia Davis, but was done in by 36 turnovers and 10-of-21 foul shooting in an 80-76 overtime loss to the Celtics in the Class 4A, Region 2 semifinal.

Davis made 14-of-22 shots and collected 15 of her rebounds on the offensive end, however, the Tornadoes saw Trinity Catholic send the game to overtime on a pair of free throws by Amber Ferguson (27 points, 12 rebounds) with 7.3 seconds left in regulation.

Tracey Kemp added 24 points in the loss for Bradford, which rallied from a nine-point second half deficit and held the lead late in a game that featured six ties and five lead changes over the final 4:39 of the fourth quarter.

The Tornadoes (16-10), though, were hit with a late 6-0 run and turned the ball over six times in the four-minute overtime and saw the Celtics (26-2) advance to the regional finals for the second straight season.

HAMILTON COUNTY 66, HAWTHORNE 48: At Jasper, the Hornets came up short of their first playoff win in nearly six years at Hamilton County, despite a team-high 23 points from freshman guard Kimesha Mann.

Jailyn McGruder, a senior guard, chipped in 10 points for Hawthorne, which ends the season with a 16-10 record.

Hamilton County (16-5) will travel to play Hilliard on Saturday in the Class 1A, Region 3 finals.

HILLIARD 68, BRANFORD 41: At Hilliard, the Buccaneers fell to the Red Flashes in the Class 1A, Region 3 semifinals.

Branford, which was in the playoffs for the first time since 2002, ends the season with a 16-9 mark. No. 1 Hilliard (22-4) hosts Hamilton County on Saturday in the regional finals.

ST. JOHNS BARTRAM TRAIL 59, EASTSIDE 45: At St. Johns, the Rams came up short in the Class 5A, Region 2 semifinals and failed to advance to regional finals for the first time in seven years.

Eastside finishes the season with a 13-12 record, while Bartram Trail (21-7) will play at Dade City Pasco on Saturday in the regional finals.

THE VILLAGES 48, UNION COUNTY 36: At The Villages, the Tigers lost to the host Buffalo in their first ever postseason appearance.

Union County ends its 2012-13 campaign with a 7-14 record, while The Villages, winners of seven straight, advance to Saturday's Class 1A, Region 4 final and will host Newberry on Saturday.

Correspondent Richard Burton contributed to this report.

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