The Dade Christian girls’ soccer team looked like it was going to seal its 16th consecutive district title up a goal late on Miami Country Day in the District 15-1A final Friday.
But Country Day coach Kyllene Weiss pulled goalkeeper Laurel Ivory out of goal and Ivory scored a game-tying goal on an assist from Avery Watson with 3:47 to play to force overtime.
Ivory wasn’t done for the night.
With the game going into penalty kicks, Ivory had the clinching saves on Dade Christian’s fourth and fifth attempts to give Miami Country Day the upset victory, 1-1 (3-2 PKs), and crown the Spartans district champs.
The Spartans (10-9-2) will now face Westminster Christian in regional quarterfinals while the Crusaders (17-5-2) get District 16-1A champion Marathon.
Watson, Winona Paez and Gina Nacropolis scored the Spartans’ penalty kick goals on the team’s third, fourth and fifth attempts.
Dade Christian’s early goal was scored by Victoria Vandesande.
• Late Friday – District 11-5A final – Douglas 2, Taravella 1: The undefeated Douglas girls’ soccer team clinched its 20th consecutive district title with a 2-1 win over Taravella Friday. Bailey Leal and Brianna Raaf scored goals for the Eagles (21-0).
• MLK Classic – Hialeah Gardens 62, Dillard 52: In a battle of South Florida basketball heavyweights, it was defending Class 8A champion Hialeah Gardens that came up with the crucial plays to cement a wire-to-wire victory over Dillard in the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Basketball Classic at Miami Central.
The Gladiators capitalized on their height advantage and the Panthers’ poor shooting — Dillard shot 22 of 57 from the field — to secure the win.
Hialeah Gardens senior Adrian Gonzalez, the leading scorer in Miami-Dade County, poured in a game-high 22 points on 9-of-15 shooting. Gonzalez, who added seven rebounds and a steal, got hot in the third quarter, making all four of his third quarter shots in a spurt that swelled the Gladiators lead to as many as eight.
The frontcourt combo of Alvaro Simoza and Henry Leonardo combined for 29 points and 23 rebounds for Hialeah Gardens. Dillard finished with 18 rebounds as a team.
The Panthers’ struggles could also be attached to the offensive struggles of senior guard Romello Walker. Walker, one of Dillard’s leading scorers this season, finished with just two points on 1-of-8 shooting and committed a pair of turnovers.
Tradon Smith finished with team highs in points and rebounds for the Panthers – 15 and eight respectively.
From the onset, Hialeah Gardens tried to work the ball inside to Simoza and he didn’t disappoint. Simoza’s combination of size and strength — 6-6, 245 pounds — forced the Panthers defense to collapse and open driving lanes for Gonzalez and Luis Huertas, who finished with seven points, five assists and three steals.
Dillard tried to speed up the tempo, closing the third gap to 46-40, but the absence of Walker’s shooting touch from the outside, the Panthers struggled to penetrate the Gladiators’ zone defense.
• HG: Gonzalez 22, Simoza 19, Leonardo 10, Huertas 7, Sanchez 2, Frias 2. DIL: T. Smith 15, Dixon 12, Wright 11, Kennedy 8, Heastie 3, Walker 2, Osson 1. Halftime: HG 32-27. Fouled out: Wright. Technicals: Huertas. Three-pointers: Huertas, Simoza, Dixon, Heastie. Rebounds: Leonardo 12, Simoza 11. Assists: Huertas 5. Steals: Huertas 3.