Miami High knew how much opposing girls’ basketball teams thought this season was a great opportunity to pay the Stingarees back for past defeats.
Flanagan and its star forward Mikiah Harrigan didn’t hold back from making their intentions clear.
Guard Andrisia Sweeting helped Miami High leave Flanagan empty-handed Tuesday night.
Sweeting’s three-pointer with 6.5 seconds remaining lifted the Stingarees to a 37-35 victory in a Region 4-8A semifinal at the Flanagan gym.
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Miami High (26-3), the reigning two-time Class 8A state champion, defeated Flanagan (22-6) in this round for the third consecutive season.
Sweeting said the Stingarees posted a preseason article from a local paper that quoted Harrigan saying this year she “would not lose to Miami High,” in their locker room and kept it there throughout the season in anticipation of Tuesday’s showdown.
“It gave us plenty of motivation and we’ve played like that all season because a lot of people have said we couldn’t get it done this season without Beatrice and we keep proving them wrong,” Sweeting said.
The Stingarees will next host another revenge-minded foe in Ferguson, which beat Lourdes on Tuesday, in the regional finals Friday at 7 p.m. The game will also mark the third consecutive year that the teams meet with a berth in the state final four at stake with Miami High having won the past five meetings overall.
“It’s a credit to our kids fighting and not giving up throughout the season,” Miami High coach Sam Baumgarten said. “They were phenomenal and at the end of the game I could have taken a timeout, but I trust they can create a shot like that.”
Harrigan, a University of South Carolina signee, scored a game-high 19 points and helped the Falcons rally with back-to-back jumpers that along with a basket by Tharalee Mompelas gave the Falcons a one-point lead with 42 seconds remaining.
But Harrigan never touched the ball on Flanagan’s final possession on which Miami High nearly stole the inbounds pass. Jennifer Oramas grabbed a deflected pass and quickly fired a desperation shot that hit rim. Time expired as players from each side dove for the loose ball in the paint.
Miami High limited Oramas, who entered the game averaging 16.5 points to only two points.
“The fact that none of our guards are signed by any college right now is ridiculous to me,” Baumgarten said. “For these girls to do the job they did against a great guard like [Oramas] shows they can play with anyone.”
As it had for most of the game, Miami High methodically worked the ball around the court patiently finding the open shooter whether it was on the perimeter or in the paint. In the closing seconds, Sweeting came free and buried the shot with ease.
Harrigan hit a three-pointer at the first-half buzzer to give Flanagan a 16-15 lead at the break. But Miami High led throughout most of the ball-control, low-scoring contest as Philneka Jackson finished with eight points and seven rebounds and effectively limited Harrigan in the paint. She also drew two offensive fouls at key points in the game. Armani Paschal finished with three assists and three steals and two timely baskets.
MIA (26-3): Angulo 9, Sweeting 7, Richard 3, Weldon 4, Paschal 4, Troup-Bishop 2, Jackson 8. FL (22-6): Lubin 1, Oramas 2, Harrigan 19, Howard 5, Theodule 2, Mompelas 6. Half: FL 16-15. Three-pointers: Harringan, Howard, Sweeting, Angulo. Rebounds: Jackson, Harrigan 7. Assists: Angulo, Paschal 3. Steals: Paschal 3.
▪ Region 4-6A semifinal — Northeast 69, Dillard 48: Northeast star guard Ta’Kala Austin poured in a game-high 24 points amd Cabria Lee added 19 points and 8 assists to lead host Northeast to a victory over nine-time state champion Dillard in the Class 6A regional semifinals.
The Hurricanes advanced to their first regional final Saturday when they will host Miami Norland.
Austin carried over her hot shooting from the district championship game when she had a game-high 29 points with 11 of the Hurricanes’ first 14 points to pace Northeast to a 22-8 first-quarter lead.
Nailah Delinois added nine points and Ashley Saintigene added five points, 10 rebounds and five blocks for the Hurricanes.
Dillard, on the other hand, was never able to dig itself out of the double digit hole, causing much of its own angst by uncharacteristically turning the ball over, allowing the Hurricanes to feast in the open court.
Beyond Jacaira Allen’s team-high 20 points, the Panthers were not able to generate an offensive surge long enough to threaten the Hurricanes.
Northeast coach Zach Gillion said his team was eager to prove its landmark district final victory over Dillard, which had won state championships in five of the past six years, wasn’t a fluke.
“Our girls have been the most under-publicized, good team in Broward County,” Gillion said. “We had to beat somebody good to get that attention. We beat Dillard by double digits in their house so our girls knew they could win. We had to come out and match their toughness.”
Dill: Tiara Wilks 4, Allen 20, Huggins 6, Johnson 8, A. Lee 3, Emmanuel 4, Field 3. NE (18-7): C. Lee 19, Austin 24, Taylor 3, Hudson 6, Saintigene 5, Delinois 9, Lane 3.Half: NE 35-22. Three-pointers: Allen 1, Huggins 2, A. Lee 1, C. Lee 2, Austin 6, Delinois 1, Lane 1. Rebounds: Saintigene 10. Blocks: Saintigene 5. Steals: Taylor 6. Assists: C. Lee 8.
▪ Region 4-8A final — Ferguson 52, Lourdes 45: Led by 19 points and eight rebounds from Sheslani Laureano and 17 points and four assists from Giolibeth Perez, the Falcons (21-7) downed Lourdes. For the third consecutive season, Ferguson will face Miami High, coach Gabriel Lazo’s alma mater, in regional finals.
“We’re just going to go up there and do the best that we can, try to beat one of the best teams in their gym,” Lazo said.
Laureano had 13 and six at halftime as she keyed an early surge that had the Falcons up by as many as 11 in the first half. Natalia Pineda had 10 points, six rebounds and five steals.
Erica Moralejo and Lori Couto each scored 11 points for Lourdes, which ended its season 23-7. Daniella Midolo had nine points and eight rebounds.
FER: Laureano 19, Perez 17, Gonzalez 1, Pineda 10, Buitrago 3, Rodriguez 2. LOU: Minervino 9, Maristany 5, Moralejo 11, Couto 11, Midolo 9. Halftime: FER 28-24. Three-pointers: Couto 2, Perez, Buitrago, Laureano. Rebounds: Laureano, Midolo 8. Assists: Perez 4. Steals: Pineda 5. Blocks: Moralejo 2.
▪ Region 4-4A semifinal — Booker T. Washington 44, Gulliver 35: Host Booker T. Washington (20-9) scored 21 fourth-quarter points to earn the victory over Gulliver (25-4). The Tornadoes will face Cardinal Gibbons in the regional final.
The game was close throughout the first three quarters and the Lady Tornadoes (20-9) only led 23-21 entering the fourth quarter.
“As hard as we worked this year, I think we should go to state,” Mia Leite said. Leite led Booker T. with 17 points, eight rebounds and seven assists.
Booker T. went up 28-21 over Gulliver early in the fourth quarter thanks to five straight points by Oriana Manhertz capped off by a three-pointer.
Shannon Kunkel led the Raiders with 13 points and three three-pointers. Mikayla Thomas scored eight points before fouling out in the fourth quarter.
BTW: Leite 17, Manhertz 7, Durant 8, Pressley 4, Burke 4, Leonard 4. GUL: Kunkel 13, Thomas 8, Pyatt 8, Kaiser 2, Pinder 2, Bahadue 2. Three-pointers: Kunkel 3, Leite 2, Thomas, Manhertz. Rebounds: Burke 11. Assists: Leite 7. Steals: Leonard 3. Half: BTW 17-16
▪ Region 4-6A semifinal — Norland 60, Doral Academy 28: Miami Norland with an incredible second quarter took control of the game and advanced. The Vikings were led by sophomore guard Edrenna Jackson, who scored 15 points before the half and finished with 28.
The stout Vikings defense kept Doral Academy to just two points for the entire quarter.
Miami Norland Coach Carla Curry on the great quarter, “We switched up the defense and they really turned up the intensity. It was a great performance.”
NOR: Clarke 4, Bostick 6, Jackson 28, B. Williams 8, Curry 2, T.Williams, 2 Stevens. DA: Vega 8, Barrios 12, Guerrero 8
▪ Region 4-7A semifinal —South Broward 67, Nova 44: Host South Broward (27-6) beat Nova (17-11) for the fifth time this season. Guard Natalia Leaks scored 30 points to pace the Bulldogs.
Nova looked poised for an upset in the first quarter, opening the game on a 9-0 run. The Bulldogs countered with a 10-0 run of their own and went into the half up 27-15.
“It was like the basket had a lid on it,” South Broward coach Richard Walker said of the slow start. “I felt like it was just a matter of time. We have a lot of good shooters.”
Guard Natalia Leaks found her shot in the second, scoring 12 of her 17 first half points in the period.
“I was just thinking we got to score, we got to get it together, we got to win,” said Leaks, who finished with a game-high 30 points.
The Titans scored 15 in the third, matching their first point total in the first half, but they couldn’t make up any ground on the red-hot Bulldogs. South Broward (27-6) led by 12 going into the fourth and opened the period with a 10-0 run to put away the Titans.
South Broward previously lost to Nova in the regional semifinals three of the last four years, so Walker was relieved to finally advance past the Titans.
“It feels really good. They were like a thorn in my flesh,” Walker said.
NOV: Gabby Gonzalez-11, Erin Gutierrez-11, Mae Roland-8. SB: Leaks-30, Mackenzie Sadaka-7, Shante Walker-8, Michelle Wright-8. Rebounds: Sadaka-12, Walker-11 Rakiah Cowart-7. Assists: Leaks-4, Gonzalez-3, Gutierrez-3.
▪ Region 4-4A semifinal — Cardinal Gibbons 60, Calvary Christian 50: Deja Antione scored 34 points to pace the Chiefs (21-4) over the Eagles (13-14).
Amber Bender led the Eagles to an early 10-point lead, scoring 16 of the team’s first 20 points. “She’s the best big girl in Broward,” said Gibbons head coach Kevin Gordon, whose team lost to Bender and company in the regular season but won in the district tournament.
▪ Region 4-2A semifinal — Miami Christian 64, Hebrew Academy 18: MC (17-5): Alonso 17, Martin 11, Victores 9, Diaz 7, Torres 2, Allen 2. HA: Sebighim 5, Wollson 1, Dabin 8, Herskowitz 2, Gordon 2. HT: 30-13 MC. Rebounds: Diaz 10. Steals: Alonso 8. Assists: Martin 9. Three-pointers: Alonso 3, Torres 3.
▪ Region 4-3A semifinal — Miami Country Day 81, Archbishop Curley 11: AC: S. Wiggins 3, K. Forbes 2, A. Savain 6. MCD (23-6): M. Alvarez 14, S. Provenzano 15, C. Lewis 11, M. McCormack 4, J. Fishman 3, M. Edwards 8, D. Jackson 8, K. Marshall 12, L. Pierre 6. HT: MCD 66-11. Three-pointers: Wiggins, Savain, Alvarez 3, Provenzano 3, Lewis 3, Pierre 2. Rebounds: Lewis 7, Jackson 7. Assists: Lewis 10. Steals: Marshall 5, Provenzano 5. Blocks: Jackson, Provenzano.
▪ Region 3-3A semifinal - Westminster Academy 49, Benjamin 34: WA (22-5): Rosa 7, Santo 12, Wallhoff 19, Quirk 5, Kelmanson 6. BEN: Derosa 3, Hilcoff 1, Amlamala 4, Eston 22, White 4. Rebounds: Santo 15. HT: 22-19 WA.
▪ Region 4-5A semifinal — American Heritage Plantation 61, Suncoast 52: AHP (24-5): Smith 31, Lindo 2, Willis 6, Duren 8, Kruss 11, Marshall 2. SUN (23-3): Schmidt 4, McCray 12, Reagan 8, Woody 14, Crown 4, Smith 10. Rebounds: Smith 11. Steals: Lindo 5. Assists: Duren 7.
▪ Region 4-3A semifinal: Palmer Trinity 53, Florida Christian 31: Irvine 9, Nunez 5, Milton 4,Rico 4.
▪ Region 4-5A semifinal: American Heritage 61, Riviera Beach Suncoast 52
▪ Region 4-7A semifinal: Fort Lauderdale 79, Blanche Ely 64
▪ Region 4-2A semifinal: Grandview Prep 62, Zion Lutheran 43.
▪ Region 3-8A semifinal: Deerfield Beach 69, Coral Glades 52.