After trailing by as much as 11 points against Miramar, Flanagan rallied in the second half behind the shooting of Patricia Albano and its pressure defense as the host Falcons defeated district rival Miramar 58-46 in the region 3-8A semifinal in Pembroke Pines.
Albano finished with 19 points and five rebounds. Laura Morency also added 19 points and four assists for the Falcons. Flanagan will host Palm Beach Gardens Dwyer in the regional final.
Throughout the first half, Miramar controlled the paint, as center Rickae Jinks scored, blocked shots and rebounded at will against the smaller frontcourt of Flanagan. The Patriots’ pressure defense led to multiple turnovers as guard Samauria Bridges led the Patriots to multiple fast-break points. Miramar (19-6) went on a 10-2 run to take a 20-11 lead midway in the second quarter and took a 28-17 lead at halftime.
“Our defense in the first half was out of position a lot,” Flanagan coach Latravis Bernard said. “Offensively, we didn’t execute. In the second half, we were able to turn that around.”
Flanagan (22-3) came out in the third quarter with better energy on defense as it pressed Miramar’s guards into multiple turnovers. The Patriots struggled to establish Jinks inside the paint for most of the second half.
“We rotated the ball well in the first half, “ Miramar coach Pat Woods said. “In the second half, that did not happen.”
Albano led Flanagan in the third quarter as she scored nine of the first 11 points for the Falcons. Morency scored five consecutive points in the third to give the Falcons a 33-31 lead late in the quarter. The Falcons closed the quarter leading 37-34.
Miramar cut the deficit to 41-40 with 5:40 to play in the game. Albano and Morency’s aggressive penetration to the basket led to multiple trips to the free-throw line. Morency (6-for-6) and Albano’s (5-for-6) shooting from the line late fueled a 17-6 run to close out the game.
“We realized that we just had to pick it up,” Albano said. “The second half was about heart and who wanted it more. We did not want to end our season early.”
FLAN (22-3): Albano 19, Morency 19, Oramas 9. MIR (19-6): Bridges 17, Jinks 13, Lee 8, Daniel 8. Halftime: MIR 28-17. Rebounds: Cortes 10, Albano 5. Assists: Oramas 5, Morency 4.
• Region 4-7A semifinal — Nova 52, South Broward 48: Two weeks ago, Nova watched as South Broward celebrated a district championship following a 61-49 win.
Thursday night, it was the Titans celebrating on South Broward’s home floor following a 52-48 win over the Bulldogs Tuesday night in the Region 4-7A semifinal. They will travel to the Lake Worth-Palm Beach Lakes winner Saturday.
Bernadette Devaney hit an awkward floater off the glass from a difficult angle from about eight feet out, giving the Titans a 50-48 lead with 36.9 seconds to play. After a South Broward turnover, Trellanie English-Lurry hit a pair of free throws with 25.2 seconds left to seal the game.
“It was probably one of the better basketball games I could talk about in Broward County history. Nobody had control all night long,” Nova coach Jason Hively said. “Our team hung in there. We got some stops in there at the end. I am still trying to figure out how [Devaney’s] shot went in.”