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Tuesday, May 22, 2018
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Girls Basketball: Region Semifinals Preview

All games are at 7 p.m.

Class 7A-2

Steinbrenner (25-3) at Strawberry Crest (25-4)

NEED TO KNOW: Steinbrenner, the 10th-ranked team in the 7A poll, is coming off a 41-40 overtime win against Tampa Bay Tech in the region quarterfinals. Junior 6-foot-2 center Courtney Hall led the way with 11 points and 12 rebounds while Rachel Briere added 10 points. Strawberry Crest, ranked No. 4 in the 7A poll, defeated Wiregrass Ranch 56-51 in the quarterfinals to advance, led by senior guard Aliyah Gregory, who scored 18 points en route to surpassing 2,000 for her career. Steinbrenner lost in this round last year to Freedom while Strawberry Crest lost in the quarterfinals to Sickles. Steinbrenner and Strawberry Crest are looking to make their first region championship appearance. In a regular season meeting earlier this year, Strawberry Crest defeated Steinbrenner, 42-33. Briere leads the Warriors with 11.8 points per game while senior guard Taylor Thigpen adds 9.0 points per game. Gregory is averaging 20.8 points per game for the Chargers.

Class 6A-3

Dixie Hollins (19-5) at Armwood (25-4)

NEED TO KNOW: Senior Meagan Thomas, the fourth-leading scorer in the state, leads Dixie Hollins with 26.4 points and 7.7 rebounds per game. Thomas scored 38 points to lead Dixie Hollins to a 50-48 quarterfinal victory against Hillsborough.

Freshman Alyssa Nieves scored 20 points, including four 3-pointers, to lead Armwood to a 56-30 win over Mitchell in the quarterfinals. Armwood, the fifth-ranked team in 6A, last advanced to a region championship in 2000, also the same year the Hawks reached the state semifinals.

Class 4A-3

Academy of the Holy Names (20-8) at Tampa Catholic (17-12)

NEED TO KNOW: This will be the fourth meeting this season for the rival programs. Tampa Catholic is 7-15 against Holy Names since 2006 and has won three of the last four. Senior guard Ashley McWilliams had a triple double with 18 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists for Academy of the Holy Names in its 59-51 win over Lakeland McKeel Academy in the quarterfinal. The Jaguars last reached the region championship in 2007, also the last year the team went to the final four. Freshman Alise Davis led Tampa Catholic with 15 points to top Lake Placid, 50-34, to advance. Tampa Catholic last reached the region final in 2011, the year the Crusaders won its second straight state title.

Class 3A-2

Fort Meade (20-6) at Seffner Christian (23-5)

NEED TO KNOW: Fort Meade advanced to the semifinals with a 43-24 win over Carrollwood Day School. Junior Quinika Williams leads the Miners with 16.7 points per game. Seffner Christian, the third-ranked team in the 3A poll, advanced with an 81-21 win against Lakeland Christian. Senior guard Sabrina Whiting became Seffner Christian’s all-time leading scorer, surpassing 2,000 career points with a game-high 22. Seffner Christian advanced to the 3A state semifinals last season and has been to the final four twice in the past four years.

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