Big First Half Pushes Panthers To Tourney Championship
By Ryan Jones // December 22, 2013
PANTHERS WIN HOLIDAY TOURNEY WITH 74-57 win
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – The Florida Tech Panthers took the court for the final time in 2013 Saturday afternoon when they faced Palm Beach Atlantic in the championship game of the CarMax Florida Tech Holiday Tournament.
It was also the third time this season the Panthers and Sailfish have played this season. The Panthers jumped out front in the first half, and took home the title with a 74-57 win.
“I am really proud of how we stayed focused these two games,” said head coach John Reynolds. “We came out and played to win. Defensively the first 10-12 minutes of the game is about as good as you can play. We did not give them an open shot.”
The Panthers came out of the gates quickly in the first half beginning the game on a 20-0 run. The Sailfish missed their first 13 shots of the game and did not get on the board until 9:33 was left in the period when Jaz Green scored.
The Panthers offense kept rolling throughout the first half. Junior Kayk Wilson led all scorers in the opening period with 13 points to go with five rebounds.
Senior Ida Gustafsson scored 10 points in the half. The Panthers shot just under 47 percent in the half to take a 38-15 lead into halftime. The 15 points for the Sailfish is the lowest first half total given up by the Panthers so far this season.
The second half was more of the same for the Panthers as the extended their lead to as many as 33 in the final 20 minutes. The Sailfish could not make a charge in the final period, as the Panthers took home the championship with a 74-57 victory.
The Panthers (9-4) shot 50 percent from the field for the game. They were 6-of-15 from beyond the arc and 16-of-27 from the foul line. The Sailfish (5-10) shot 38.5 percent for the game. They made 6-of-14 three point shots, and were 11-of-16 from the foul line.
WILSON, ACEVEDO NAMED TO ALL TOURNAMENT TEAM
Wilson led all scorers in the game with 16 points to go with six rebounds. Gustafsson finished with 14 points, and senior Rita Acevedo scored seven points to go with seven assists, and seven rebounds.
Sophomore Tiesha Flagler recorded a double-double for the Panthers with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Kasie Parker led the Sailfish with 14 points and Green finished with 11 points.
The all-tournament team was announced after the championship game. Bryann Guyton (Shaw), Tenesha Wright (LeMoyne-Owen), Kasie Parker (Palm Beach Atlantic), Jaz Green (Palm Beach Atlantic), Kayk Wilson (Florida Tech), and Rita Acevedo (Florida Tech) were all named to the all-tournament team. Acevedo was also named the Most Outstanding Player.
The Panthers are off now until Jan. 4 when they will travel to face Saint Leo in Sunshine State Conference play.
“It beats going into the holiday on a loss,” Reynolds said. “We can enjoy this win for a week before we come back. I am really proud of my team for coming out and winning this game.”