Girls basketball regional semifinal preview


GHS is making its fifth straight regional semifinal under coach David Gordon, who grew up in Pensacola and attended Washington High. The No. 1 Hurricanes face No. 3 Pensacola Pine Forest Tuesday at 8 p.m. EST in Pensacola.

Matt Stamey/Staff photographer/FILE
Published: Monday, February 10, 2014 at 5:49 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, February 10, 2014 at 5:49 p.m.

All games at 7 p.m. Tuesday unless noted

WHO: No. 1 Gainesville (26-2) at No. 3 Pensacola Pine Forest (23-2), 8 p.m. EST

WHAT: Class 6A, Region 1

HOW THEY GOT HERE: Gainesville def. No. 4 Pensacola 70-61 in the regional quarterfinals; Pine Forest def. Orange Park Oakleaf 53-32 in the regional quarterfinals.

WHAT'S NEXT: Gainesville would host St. Johns Bartram Trail or St. Augustine in Saturday's regional finals; Pine Forest would host either school.

FREE THROW: The visiting Hurricanes are in their fifth straight regional semifinal under coach David Gordon, who grew up in Pensacola and attended Washington High. GHS has one of the state's top junior players in guard Janiah McKay, who despite foul problems (three early in the second period), had a game-high 31 points to beat the Tigers. Junior Felicia Jackson scored five straight points (3-pointer and basket off steal) that put the 'Canes ahead to stay. Senior forward Asya Smith had 15 points (hit 12-of-12 free throws) and team-high nine rebounds. The host Eagles, who have no seniors and handed Pensacola three of its five losses this season, are in their third straight regional semifinal, losing last year to state finalist Choctawhatchee 61-60. Jymetrea Jones had a game-high 15 points, converting on four 3-pointers, and Britney Snowden had 13 points and a game-high 12 rebounds as Pine Forest outscored Oakleaf 26-10 in the second half.

WHO: No. 9 Citrus (24-3) at Eastside (13-10)

WHAT: Class 5A, Region 2

HOW THEY GOT HERE: Eastside def. Crystal River 67-51 in the regional quarterfinals; Citrus def. North Marion 46-18 in the regional quarterfinals.

WHAT'S NEXT: Eastside would host Land O'Lakes or Nature Coast in Saturday's regional finals; Citrus would host either school.

FREE THROW: The host Rams are in their fourth regional semifinal in the last six years and second straight under coach Lance Radford. Senior guard Jasmine Thomas tossed in a career-high 30 points with 10 rebounds and KeeKee Barber added 20 points and 10 boards for Eastside, which is looking to advance to its first regional final since 2006. The visiting Hurricanes, who won their first playoff game last week since 1995, haven't reached the regional finals in 20 years. Citrus is led by seniors Shenelle Toxen (13.0 ppg.) and Micah Jenkins (12.5 ppg.).

WHO: No. 10 Santa Fe (20-5) at No. 9 P.K. Yonge (19-8)

WHAT: Class 4A, Region 3

HOW THEY GOT HERE: P.K. Yonge def. New Port Richey Ridgewood 74-55 in the regional quarterfinals; Santa Fe def. Ocala Trinity Catholic 59-56 in the regional quarterfinals.

WHAT'S NEXT: P.K. Yonge would host Lake Highland Prep or Orlando Jones in Friday's regional finals; Santa Fe would host Jones or play at Lake Highland Prep.

FREE THROW: This is the fourth meeting between these two district rivals this season with the stakes much higher this time. P.K. Yonge won all three previous meetings, but had to rally to pull out the district title victory (56-50). The Blue Wave have reached the state tournament nine times in the past 13 years, winning two state titles (3A) in the process. Last season P.K. Yonge fell in the regional semifinals for the first time since 2004. Junior guard Kiarah Mallory had a game-high 31 points in last week's playoff-opening win. Santa Fe is in the regional semifinals for the second straight season and are looking to reach its first regional final since 2002. Tasha Robinson scored 12 of her team-high 22 points as the Raiders pulled out a road win in Ocala over Trinity Catholic, which eliminated Santa Fe a year ago in the regional semifinals.

WHO: Lafayette (13-11) at Hawthorne (21-3)

WHAT: Class 1A, Region 3

HOW THEY GOT HERE: Hawthorne def. Bronson 55-42 in the District 6-1A final; Lafayette lost to Hamilton County 50-42 in the District 5-1A final.

WHAT'S NEXT: Hawthorne would host Bronson or travel to Hamilton County in Friday's regional finals; Lafayette would travel to either school.

FREE THROW: The host Hornets are looking for their first playoff win since 2007. Hawthorne has never reached the state tournament. Lafayette is in its 13th playoff in the last 14 years and has played in three state tournaments and the 2008 Class 2A state final. Freshman Teyonnia Blake leads Lafayette, also known as the Hornets, averaging 16.5 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. Sophomore Kimesia Mann leads Hawthorne, averaging 14.1 points, 7. 2 assists and 5.5 steals per game.

WHO: Bronson (19-5) at Hamilton County (12-4)

WHAT: Class 1A, Region 3

HOW THEY GOT HERE: Bronson lost to Hawthorne 55-42 in District 6-1A final; Hamilton County def. Lafayette 50-42 in the District 5-1A.

WHAT'S NEXT: Bronson would host Lafayette or travel to Hawthorne in Friday's regional finals; Hamilton County would host either school.

FREE THROW: The visiting Eagles are in their first playoff since 2006 and are looking for their first postseason win since 1995. The host Trojans are in their third straight playoff.

WHO: Crescent City at Chiefland (16-1)

WHAT: Class 1A, Region 4

HOW THEY GOT HERE: Chiefland def. Williston 60-59 in the District 7 final; Crescent City lost to Wildwood 60-13 in the District 8 final.

WHAT'S NEXT: Chiefland would host Wildwood or Williston in Friday's regional finals; Crescent City would host Williston or travel to Wildwood.

FREE THROW: The host Indians are in their first state playoff since 2003 and are looking for their first postseason win. The visiting Raiders are in their third straight playoff and are also looking for their first postseason win.

WHO: Williston (13-13) at Wildwood (20-6)

WHAT: Class 1A, Region 4

WHAT'S NEXT: Williston would travel to Chiefland or Crescent City in Friday's regional finals; Wildwood would host Crescent City or travel to Chiefland.

FREE THROW: The visiting Red Devils are in their first playoff since 2010 and are looking for their first postseason win since 2003. The host Wildcats are in their eighth playoff in the last nine years and are looking for their first regional final berth since 2010.

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