Dr. Phillips Advances to the Finals
Feb 26, 2011
By: Robert Sumpter
After losing to Miami Lourdes Academy in the state semifinals, Orlando Dr. Phillips Lady Panthers immediately set a goal of not only returning to Lakeland, but to go to the championship game. After a 51-41 victory over South Broward in their semifinal game, the Panthers has accomplished their team goal and now has their sights on a state title.
“Last year going in we started five freshman, we were young and inexperience even I was young as a coach. What we learned was that we had to take advantage of every opportunity and we were able to do that tonight.” Dr. Phillips head coach Anthony Jones said.
Dr. Phillips started the game with a 7-0 run but South Broward settled down and went on a 20-11 run to end the half and take a 20-18 halftime lead.
Led by sophomore Sydnei McCaskill, who finished with a game high 15 points, Dr. Phillips turned a two point halftime deficit to an eight point advantage outscoring the Bulldogs 17-7 to take a 35-27 lead into the fourth quarter.
Dr. Phillips was able to stay in the game with the help of unexpected scoring from senior Tanisha Wilson and Arianna Cumbie. Both players usually combine for six points a game but finished with 16 points together with Cumbie scoring nine and Wilson scoring seven.
“I tell our girls to be prepared at all times. With my team everybody plays, I believe I need everybody. Tonight proves that. Without the play of Arianna and Tanisha we would have been in big trouble tonight.” Jones said.
The victory sets up an All Central Florida 6A finals between Lake Mary and Orlando Dr. Phillips. The two teams played in December at Lake Mary with Dr. Phillips winning by 11 but Jones expects a very different game this time.
“We played Lake Mary in December and I felt that we were on. We are not the same team we were in December and they are not either. Tomorrow night is going to be a very good challenge for us. Lake Mary is going to try and defend their state title and we are trying to take it from them.”
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