She wasn’t hot the entire game, but Norland senior guard Edreanna Jackson got hot at just the right time on Tuesday night.
With her Vikings team trailing Doral Academy 21-16 early in the second half, Jackson took all of about 90 seconds to go on a tear, draining three three-pointers to spark an 11-0 run for her team, and host Norland never looked back from there, cruising to a 46-31 win over the Firebirds in a Region 4-7A semifinal.
The Vikings (19-9) will have very little time to enjoy the win as their next task will be a daunting one, a trip north to Fort Lauderdale on Friday night to take on Dillard in a Region 4-7a final with a trip to the state final four in Lakeland on the line. Dillard defeated Palm Bay Heritage on the road 59-42.
“Coach Carla [Harris] always gives me the green light to just keep shooting, even if they’re not going in,” said Jackson, who had one other three-pointer in the first half to lead all scorers with 12 points. “We has struggled in the second quarter, and we needed a spark. I just found the zone and got hot at the right time. It feels good to be moving on, and we’re looking forward to the next challenge on Friday.”
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The Vikings indeed were cold in the second quarter as they scored just two points and trailed at the half 18-16. When Doral’s Ruby Lopez nailed a three-pointer to open the second half, the deficit was five before Norland went on a 30-10 run to close out the game.
“She’s a senior leader who has been here all four years and showed it out there tonight,” Harris said of Jackson. “I always tell her to just keep shooting and not to worry about the ones that don’t go in.”
NOR: (19-9): E. Jackson 12, Smith 11, Seide 8, S. Jackson 5, Joseph 4, Powell 4, Marc 2. DOR: (23-8): Rodriguez 8, Lopez 8, Avilez 7, Vega 5, Barrios 3. Three pointers: E. Jackson 4, Lopez 2, Rodriguez, Barrios. Rebounds: Smith 6. Assists: Smith 6. Steals: Smith 3. Half: DOR: 18-16.
▪ St. Thomas Aquinas 56, Blanche Ely 52: After four attempts, the St. Thomas Aquinas girls’ basketball team had the resolve to finally defeat Blanche Ely.
Behind the 24 points from sophomore guard Bella LcChance, the Raiders defeated the host Tigers in overtime in a Class 8A regional semifinal.
Aquinas (18-10) will play at Nova in a Class 8A regional final on Friday. It’s the Raiders first time to play in a regional final since 2003.
The Raiders had lost twice in the regular season and in the district final to Ely.
The game was all LaChance when it counted most.
She scored the tying basket with 0.4 left in regulation. She then scored the first 10 points in overtime for the Raiders to seal the win.
“I knew I had to keep going to the line and putting them in,” LaChance said. “This means everything. We did this for Douglas, and I couldn’t have done this without my teammates. This was an important win for us.”
Jenna Laue added 11 points for Aquinas. Laleah Williams and Krista Stephens each had 17 points for Ely (25-4).
Despite trailed for much of the first half, Ely was able to lead 25-22 at the intermission following a three-pointer by Williams with less than 10 second left before the break.
STA (18-10): LaChance 5-14-24, Murphy 2-1-6, Laue 3-5-11, Charles 3-0-6, Pluviose 2-0-5. BE (25-4): Moore 1-0-2, Williams 7-0-17, David 1-0-2, Ponders 3-0-7, Stephens 6-5-17, Lumdson 2-2-7. Three-pointers: Pluviose, Williams 3, Ponders, Lumdson. Half: BE 25-22.
▪ University School 6 (1-0), Lake Worth Chr. 5: Will Frank 5 inings, 4Ks. W: Jakob Kustin. S: Alex Wertman. Anthony Trotta 3-4, 1 run, 1 SB. Cameron McDuffy 2-3, 1 run, 1 RBI, 1 SB.
▪ Christopher Columbus (1-0) 4, Hialeah Gardens 0: Anthony Arguelles 4 innings, 7 Ks. W: Arguelles. S: Chris Mederos. Mike Mas 2 -3, 2 RBI.
▪ MCS 6, Mater 0: Mario Fernandez 5 Ks. W: Fernandez. Chris Muniz 1-2, 2 RBI. Marco Pedraza 1-3. Diego Fernández 1-3, 2 RBI.