Tracy Reid once helped Central’s girls’ basketball team become one of the prominent teams in Miami-Dade County.
Before her stellar playing career at the University of North Carolina and later in the WNBA, Reid was part of the last GMAC championship the Rockets won in 1994 as well as the last playoff win.
From her seat on the bench on Thursday night as Central’s coach Reid watched a new group of Rockets end the school’s playoff drought.
Led by Kayla Mosquera’s 15 points and six steals and Zahra Daniels’ nine points and six rebounds, Central cruised to a 58-16 home victory over Jackson in a Region 4-7A quarterfinal. Central will travel to face Doral Academy, which ousted Norland, on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
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“We started out great and then had some losses,” Reid said. “We had our obstacles to climb this season but I’m very proud of this team.”
The Rockets (18-5) won their first regional game since that 1994 season only days after winning their second district championship in the past four years since Reid returned to her alma mater to become its head coach.
Mosquera and Daniels have been key cogs in Central’s ascent to contention in recent years, which earned respect countywide this season after a pair of wins over Norland and an early-season victory over Miami High.
“Playing for coach Reid has been such an honor,” Mosquera said. “I’m the smallest player on the court and it hasn’t mattered. She’s been huge for me.”
Added Daniels: “I’ve known coach since I was six years old and she’s been like a second mom to me.”
Forwards Dana Thompson (six rebounds in Thursday’s game), Andrea Ferbie and Raushaunna Brins have all played vital roles in the frontcourt as well.
“It was a lot of work in the beginning because we had some girls that really didn’t know the game of basketball,” Reid said. “But to see these girls progress and to see the turnaround has been tremendous for me to see.”
CEN (18-5): Mosquera 15, Jenkins 3, Thompson 6, Hall 5, Dossous 7, Ferbie 6, Bain 5, Daniel 9, Bryant 2. JAC: Hudley 4, Hamilton 7, Gross 4, Glass 1. Half: CEN 37-10. Three-pointers: Mosquera 2, Hamilton 2. Rebounds: Daniel, Thompson 6. Steals: Mosquera 6.
Region 4-7A quarterfinal - Doral 52, Norland 43: It was a strange sight indeed. A first round playoff game with the Norland girls basketball team wearing dark uniforms, not white.
Following last week’s loss to Central, which ended a string of 16 consecutive district championships, the Vikings traveled to Doral Academy’s gym on Thursday night with the unusual task of playing a first round playoff game on the road for the first time since 2000.
With a noisy partisan Doral crowd in the stands, the Vikings saw their season come to an end as the Firebirds, thanks to a lightning fast start that saw them blow out to a 20-2 lead after one quarter, came through with a breakthrough win. It marked the first time Norland has been eliminated in the first round since 2001.
Doral, (21-8) which lost to Norland each of the last two years in the regional semifinals, will host that same Miami Central team that knocked off Norland in a regional semi on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
“I’m so proud of my girls, this is not a win for me tonight, it’s a win for these girls and this program,” said Doral coach Rey Perez who inherited a team four years ago with just six total wins over the previous five seasons and now has three consecutive 20-win seasons. “Even though we’ve advanced to the regional semis the last two years, it was Norland that ended our season so getting past a program like this tonight is an enormous step for our program.”
Perez watched as his team came out blazing, shocking the Vikings (18-9) with a red hot first quarter while Norland struggled, committing eight turnovers.
Norland eventually chipped the deficit down to seven several times in the fourth quarter but could get no closer.
“The fast start was huge for us,” said Doral senior and Rollins College commit Yari Martinez, who led the Firebirds with 16 points including three huge three-pointers in the third and fourth quarters when Norland had closed the gap to single digits. “That forced them to play catchup the entire game and they never caught us. Now we’re exciting to be moving on and looking forward to another challenge with Central next week.”
DOR (21-8): Martinez 16, Barrios 12, Vega 9, Crespo 6, Cejka 4, Sanders 3, Guerro 2. NOR (18-9): Williams 16, Bailey 15, Pressley 6, Jackson 3, Seide 3. 3 pointers: Martinez (4), Barrios (4), Crespo, Sanders, Jackson, Seide HALF: DOR 30-16. DOR: Rebounds: Crespo 7, Steals: Cejka 4; Assists: Martinez 3, Barrios 3.
Region 4-9A quarterfinal - Ferguson 79, South Dade 47: Natalia Pineda finished with 19 points, eight steals and five assists as four Falcons (22-7) scored in double figures. Sheslanie Laureano had 17 points, while Yaire Rodriguez had 13 points, 10 assists and six steals. Angelle Rodriguez finished with 10 points and three blocks. Bria Kingwood and Mercy Gonzalez each had 10 rebounds.
FER (22-7): Pineda 19, Laureano 17, Y. Rodriguez 13, A. Rodriguez 10, Gonzalez 7, Kingwood 4, Buitrago 3, Abdala 2, Morales 2, Charlton 1, Grant 1. SD: Waller 20, Rule 13, Alexander 6, Clayton 2, Bailey 2, Toledo 2, Chaney 2. Half: FER 38-25. Three-pointers: Buitrago, Pineda, Gonzalez. Rebounds: Gonzalez, Kingwood 10. Assists: Y. Rodriguez 10. Steals: Pineda 8. Blocks: A. Rodriguez 3.
Region 4-9A quarterfinal - Lourdes 60, Southridge 53: The Bobcats led by two point at the half but were able to pull away with an impressive third quarter. Lourdes will travel to face district rival Ferguson for the fourth time this season. The Bobcats have lost all three meetings so far.
“We really stepped up the defense in the second half,” Lourdes coach Chris McKeon said. “I’m happy how the girls came together and played.”
Lourdes was led by senior power forward Daniella Midolo, who had 13 points and a key steal late in the fourth quarter that led to a fast break and Lourdes’ largest lead of the night - 13 points.
LOU: Codispoti- 16, Sanchez- 16, Porras- 13. Rebounds: Midolo- 6.
Region 4-9A quarterfinal - Miami High 55, Everglades 20: Sophomore Shakena Rachel had a double-double to lead Miami High (20-7) in a blowout win over Everglades (14-10) on Thursday night. The Stingarees will host Flanagan or Hialeah in the region 4-9A semifinal on Tuesday.
“We played as a team and worked together to get this win,” said Rachel, who finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds. “I was focused on going up hard with the ball.”
Freshmen Colleen Bucknor had a game-high with 15 points and added nine rebounds for Miami High. Kiara Maturah led the Gators with 9 points, all coming on three-pointers.
MH: Rachel 14, Buckner 15, Wilson 10, Whitley 3, Rodriguez 2, Perez 5, Scott 4, McReynolds 2. EG: Maturah 9, Whitehead 6, Cooks 1, Brown 1, Young 3. Three-pointers: Maturah 3, Scott. Rebounds: Rachel 12. Assists: Scott 3. Steals: Wilson 4. Halftime: MH 43-11.
Region 4-5A quarterfinal - Keys Gate 57, Edison 44 - KG (22-3): Denis 16, Moore 15, Klinar 10, Velez 9, Jones 6, Calderon 1. Ed: Raymond 11, Freemont 10, Brown 9, Haines 7, Doughty 5, Cooper 2. Three-pointers: Moore 3, Klinar 2, Freemont 2, Doughty 1, Haines 1, Raymond 1, Velez 1.
Region 4-6A quarterfinal - Riviera Beach Suncoast 55, Archbishop McCarthy 47: Trailing by as much as 17 points, the Mavericks (18-9) fought back cutting the lead to as little as six but were never able to get it closer than that. The Mavericks were lead in scoring by Sophomore Carla Soto with 12 points and Senior Reagan McCray with 11 points.
Region 4-5A quarterfinal - Gulliver 52, Monsignor Pace 38: Gul: Thomas 19, Haymore 12, Tyre 9, Kunkel 7, Pinder 5. Half: GP 36-21.
Region 4-4A semifinal - Miami Country Day 62, Westminster Academy 22: MCD (26-1): C. Lewis 10, K. Marshall 18, M. Alvarez 12, A. Berry 12, A. Taylor 7, S. Shaw 3. WA: E. Erickson 8, E. Wallhoff 9, R. Rosa 5. Half: 48-15 MCDS. Three-pointers: Alvarez 4, Lewis 1, Taylor 1, Marshall 2, Erickson 2, Wallhoff 2. Rebounds: Berry 10. Assists: Lewis 12. Steals: Alvarez 4. Blocks: Marshall 1, Alvarez 1, Berry 1, Taylor 1.
Region 4-4A semifinal - Palmer Trinity 53, Florida Christian 39 - FC: Milton 1, Herschman 2, Nunez 10, Garcia 1, Irvine 21, Hernandez 3. PT: DeSola 3, Dobrinsky 6, Esco 21, Herling 12, Iglesias 5, Lewis 6.
Region 3-9A - Deerfield Beach 56, Piper 34; Region 4-8A - South Broward 63, Westland Hialeah 11; Region 4-7A - Dillard 57, Sebastian River 20; Northeast 59, Palm Bay Heritage 54; Region 4-6A - American Heritage 67, Fort Pierce Westwood 24; Region 4-5A - Cardinal Gibbons 66, Boca St. John Paul II 23; Region 4-5A - Boca St. Andrews 44, Pine Crest 23; Region 4-4A - SLAM 65, Palm Glades Prep 34; Region 4-3A - Somerset Prep 64, Lake Worth Christian 47