Fort Lauderdale star junior Keyanna Warthen scored 11 of her team-high 32 points in overtime to help the host Flying L’s survive a 50-point effort from Palm Beach Lakes’ Dominique Green to win a thrilling Region 4-7A quarterfinal 106-101 on Thursday night.
The anticipated shootout between Warthen and Green materialized late, as Warthen scored 12 points in the fourth quarter and Green countered with 21 points in the pivotal fourth quarter to rally the defending-state-champion Rams from a 13-point deficit and then 12 points in the extra session.
“In overtime I felt like it was my game, I had to finish it,” Warthen said. “I had to go back at Green bucket for bucket. My team relies on me because I am the go-to player. I was scared, but I knew we had this. I played calm.”
The Flying L’s earned a rematch with archrival Pompano Beach Blanche Ely (18-5) in the regional semifinals on Feb. 9, marking just the first time the Flying L’s have advanced to the second round of the playoffs since 2004.
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Fatigue eventually set in for Fort Lauderdale, with only six players available. And Green pounced on the opportunity, single-handedly rallying the Rams back from a 64-51 deficit starting the fourth quarter to forge a tie at 87-87 at the end of regulation.
In overtime, Green scored eight of her 12 points, but Warthen sealed the victory by grabbing the biggest offensive rebound of the night with 13.6 seconds left and Fort Lauderdale clinging to a 102-99 lead. Warthen then converted two free throws with 10.7 seconds left. Tamiracle Taylor had 27 points and Jordan Charlton added 16 points for Fort Lauderdale. Melonie De Oleo added 15 points for the Flying L’s.
PBL (13-6) : Green 50, Rainey 13, Burgess 10, Brown 10, Pinniy 14, Jones 4. FL (18-5): Warthen 32, De Oleo 15, Poole 10, Jones 6, Taylor 27, Charlton 16. HT: FL 45-31. Three-pointers: Burgess, De Oleo 3, Charlton 4.
▪ Region 4-4A quarterfinal – Gulliver 44, Monsignor Pace 29: Junior Mikayla Thomas’ development and junior point guard Shannon Kunkel’s ability to spread the floor have been huge during what is now a 25-3 season for the host Raiders following Thursday night’s win.
Thomas scored 15 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, and Kunkel finished with nine points and five assists to lead Gulliver, which advanced to play at Booker T. Washington (17-8) on Tuesday in the regional semifinals at 7 p.m. The teams have not played yet this season.
Gulliver is vying for its second trip to the state final four in the past three seasons.
“Mikayla has improved a lot since she got here in the ninth grade,” Gulliver coach John Zambolla said. “When she got here she played off the bench and then by the end of the year earned a big role. Shannon Kunkel’s ability to get her the ball and her ability to run the point has been huge for us.”
Gulliver scored the first 13 points of the game and forced more than 20 Pace turnovers as the short-handed Spartans (22-6) were led by Destiny Wilson’s 12 points and Jada Johnson’s 10 points.
“Our defense is tough and it’s what we hang our hat on,” Zambolla said. “We pass the ball really well and we don’t worry too much about who scores.”
MP: Johnson 10, Nairin 4, Samuels 3, Wilson 12. GP: Ra. Kaiser 5, Pyatt 3, Bahadue 6, Pinder 6, Kunkel 9, Hall 2, Thomas 15. Three-pointers: Kaiser, Pyatt, Bahadue 2, Pinder, Johnson 2, Samuels, Wilson. Rebounds: Thomas 13. Assists: Kunkel 5.Steals: Bahadue 7. HT: GP 30-12.
ANDRE C. FERNANDEZ
▪ Region 4-8A quarterfinal — Miami High 39, Everglades 22: The two-time defending Class 8A state champion Stingarees took the first step in the regionals toward trying to get back to state without star center Beatrice Mompremier.
With a stout defensive effort, Miami High (25-3) earned the regional quarterfinal win over Miramar Everglades at Miami High’s gym.
But with a trip to Pembroke Pines to face a hungry Flanagan team that has been eliminated by the Stings each of the past two seasons on the horizon, coach Sam Baumgarten was not pleased with the sloppiness that accompanied the victory.
“I’m hoping the kids were just looking ahead. I’m hoping that’s what it was,” Baumgarten said.
Miami High’s defense stymied the Gators, however, forcing Everglades into 29 turnovers and keeping the score low, which is a key for the Stings to be successful, according to Baumgarten.
“If we don’t get [takeaways], if we don’t create a little helter-skelter here and there, it limits our scoring,” he said.
Tamaya Troup-Bishop led Miami High in scoring with nine points as 10 different Stings scored Thursday. Armani Paschal had five steals and three assists.
Everglades’ Melissa Brown scored a game-high 11 points.
MH: Richard 5, Troup-Bishop 9, Rachel 1, Jackson 4, Paschal 2, Rodriguez 4, Angulo 6, Wilson 3, Weldon 3, Sweeting 2. EVE: Brown 11, Maturah 3, Whitehead 6, Jones 2. HT: MH 18-11. Three-pointers: Richard, Maturah. Rebounds: Weldon 7. Assists: Paschal 3. Steals: Paschal 5. Blocks: Brown 2. Technical: Angulo.
▪ Region 4-8A quarterfinal — Flanagan 53, Hialeah 12: Host Flanagan shut out Hialeah in the first and fourth quarters of a rout.
The Falcons (22-5) led 14-0 after the first behind eight points from star forward Mikiah Harrigan.
“We wanted to throw the first punch and get them out of the game,” said Harrigan, who finished with 26 points and nine rebounds.
Diamond Celestine got the Thoroughbreds (17-10) on the board early in the second quarter. Flanagan ended the game on a 19-0 run and started a running clock with 6:30 left in the fourth. The Falcons held Hialeah to 5-of-28 shooting and forced 23 turnovers.
“We were very disciplined. I was very proud of the way we played defense,” Flanagan coach Latravis Bernard said. “I thought we did a good job contesting shots, keeping them out of the paint and rebounding the basketball.”
Next up for Flanagan is two-time defending state champion Miami High in the regional semifinals. The Stingarees have knocked out Flanagan the past two regional playoffs.
“We’re going to states this year,” Harrigan said. “We’re going to win states this year.”
MIA: Harrigan 26, Jennifer Oramas 10, Celestine 6. Rebounds: Harrigan 9, Brittney Howard 5. Steals: Oramas 4, Harrigan 3. Assists: Harrigan 2, Oramas 2.
▪ Region 4-8A quarterfinal — Ferguson 63, South Dade 39: Ferguson defeated host South Dade to advance to the regional semifinals.
The Falcons led by 15 points after the first quarter and extended the lead to 19 by halftime.
Ferguson was led by senior point guard Gio Perez, who had 17 points and initiated much of the offense.
“She played well. She is our senior, she did a good job [Thursday],” Ferguson coach Gabriel Lazo said of Perez.
FER: Laureano 12, Perez 17, Gonzalez 4, Rodriguez 12, Kingwood 4, Pineda 14. SD: Ewing 19, Johnson 4, Clayton 2, Waller 14.
▪ Region 4-6A Quarterfinal — Norland 56, Miami Springs 18: Host Norland led 21-3 after the first quarter and never looked back on the way to a victory over Miami Springs. The Vikings (17-9) will host Doral in the regional semifinal at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
Brienne Williams and Tyana Williams, each just over 6-0 tall, dominated inside. Brienne finished with 20 points and Tyana had 16.
“I appreciate the effort [Thursday], we are trying to get better every day,” coach Carla Harris-Curry said. “We need to play disciplined and play good defense, and we have a chance to get to state.”
Norland has gone to state in each of its past four seasons.
Kezia Clarke scored six points and had a game-high with seven assists and five steals for the Vikings. Catrice Jones led the Hawks (11-10) with eight points and connected on two three-pointers.
NOR: T. Williams 16, B. Williams 20, Clarke, 6 Bostick 4, Stevens 2, Jackson 4, Rotan 1, Koonce 1, George 2. MS: Jones 8, Parson 1, Carter 3, Flowers 4, Romero 2. Three-pointers: Jones 2, Carter. Rebounds: B. Williams 6. Assists: Clarke 7. Steals: Clarke 5. HT: 42-11 NOR