The good news is that the Lake Wales girls’ basketball team beat Lake Gibson last Thursday to earn a berth in the regionals of the state tournament.
The bad news is that Winter Haven scored a lopsided win over the Lady Highlanders on Friday in the district championship game.
LWHS beat Lake Gibson 53-45 on Thursday in the district semifinals with Zada Williams scoring 24 points as the Lady Highlanders won, but did not play well.
In Friday’s game, Winter Haven jumped to a 28-5 lead in the first quarter and cruised to a 70-38 victory.
Lake Wales will travel to Orlando to play Edgewater tomorrow in the first round of the regionals. If they win, the Lady Highlanders would play again next week. But the prospects aren’t good. Edgewater has outscored its opponents 444-144 in its last six games for an average winning margin of 50 points.
Lake Wales coach Demetrius Sanders isn’t too concerned about going on the road for the regionals, however.
“For some reason, we play better on the road. Our road record is as good as our home record,” he said.
The big loss to Winter Haven didn’t surprise Sanders.
“I wasn’t too upset. I already knew it could be bad. I really think after we had a good talk at halftime, the girls came out and played much better,” he noted. “That has happened a few times this year.”
Though they won, Sanders was not happy with the way his Lady Highlanders played on Thursday.
“Lake Gibson had us worried because we beat them twice during the season,” he explained. “In the first half, we played pretty good. We got in a funk and in the second half we got away from what was working for us. It is all about selfishness. When we get selfish, we are not a good team.”
LWHS had a better team earlier in the season with the tandem of Williams and Takiba Tubbs. But Tubbs had to leave the team when she turned 19, making her ineligible. Williams, a junior, has been the star on the team since then, though Roshetta Tomlin scored 17 points while Williams had 15 in Saturday’s loss.
“With Takiba on the team, Zada could do more passing. She is a very good passer. But now she has to do more scoring,” Sanders pointed out.