Florida High’s tendency all season has been to start slow, then heat up when necessary to pull out wins.
Saturday’s District 2-4A title game was no different. Florida High and Godby both started slow, but the Seminoles eventually took over and got 44 points from Ieshia Small in the 74-57 win.
“I’m always excited to step up for my team when they need me, but I couldn’t have done what I did without my teammates,” Small said. “We’re just happy to make it this far and now we get to work to get even better for the next round.”
Godby gave Florida High problems in the first half with their fast tempo. Brittany Delva consistently found lanes to the basket and made the Seminoles pay for it from the free-throw line, but it just wasn’t enough to keep up with the Seminoles down the stretch.
“This was definitely a disappointing loss,” Godby head coach Dione Desir said. “I’m just proud of my team to make it this far and I’m happy that we get to play another game. We’re a young team but we’ll be just fine.”
While Small’s offensive performance led the way, the Seminole defense was crucial in the second half.
Florida High came out more aggressive and put constant pressure on the Cougar offense, and it showed. Imposing pressure led to turnovers, and the Seminoles made sure they capitalized on the other end of the floor.
“I don’t know what was going on out there in the first half,” Florida High coach Lisa Kelley said. “Not to take anything away from Godby, but we were just beating ourselves. We’re at our best when we play tight defense and we just had to settle down. Defense wins championships.”
Florida High will host next week’s regional quarterfinal matchup against the loser of Saturday’s late District 1-4A title game between Marianna and Walton. Godby will travel to face the winner from that game in Thursday’s regional quarters.