South Miami’s girls’ basketball team had watched its past three seasons end against Lourdes in the regional semifinals.
The Cobras returned the favor Wednesday night a little earlier in the postseason this time.
A late defensive stand in the final 10 seconds that prevented Lourdes from putting up a potential game-winning shot allowed South Miami to edge the Bobcats 68-67 in a District 15-8A semifinal at Ferguson High.
South Miami (19-8) advanced to the district championship game Friday at 7 p.m. against Ferguson, which beat Coral Park in the other semifinal. The Cobras split the two regular-season meetings with Ferguson.
Lourdes (17-8) was eliminated in district round for the first time since 2002.
“It was strange facing them this early in the playoffs,” South Miami coach Nicky Fox said. “It was a total team effort and our big players came up huge for us tonight.”
Lourdes’ sharp shooting from three-point range kept it in the game despite South Miami’s notable size advantage. The Bobcats made 12 threes overall led by Mel Jordan’s six as she finished with a game-high 25 points.
But South Miami guard Tamorra Graham, who finished with a team-high 16 points, came up with the key defensive play of the game. Leading by one point, Graham blocked Lourdes guard Ana Sosa on a drive to the basket with 12.8 seconds as Sosa landed out of bounds turning the ball over.
Graham was fouled, but missed the front end of a 1-and-1 free throw. Lourdes had one last chance with 10.5 seconds, but was unable to get a shot off in time due to intense pressure defense by the Cobras.