Pine Forest shows commanding win in Region 1-6A final

Pine Forest shows commanding win in Region 1-6A final


Pine Forest shows commanding win in Region 1-6A final


Though it was Valentine’s Day, the unbeaten Pine Forest Eagles showed no love to Bartram Trail in Saturday night’s girls Region 1-6A championship game.

After tip-off, the Eagles (27-0) forced the first and only lead change of the game and rolled to a 67-55 win at Bartram Trail.

It was a complete-game effort for Pine Forest, which struggled early in two previous playoff wins.

“We’re tired of playing from behind,” Pine Forest coach Chris Godwin said. “We can’t give up an early lead anymore. Especially playing on the road in someone else’s house. And we definitely can’t do that at state (final four).”

Combining for 16 assists in the win, the Eagles earned a trip to the Class 6A state semifinals in Lakeland for the second straight year. They will play Friday afternoon against Winter Haven, a 79-47 winner Saturday against Leesburg.

“We did a good job of passing the ball from post to post,” said Godwin, referring to a large portion of Pine Forest’s assists, which set up a combined 40 points for Pine Forest post players. “We haven’t showed a lot of that this year. I’m just proud of the girls. All together they played hard — they are a great group.”

The Bears made the first three quarters tight, keeping the game within 10 points for the majority of the game.

Bartram’s sharpshooter Brooke Barlow (17 points, 2-of-6 from 3-point range) and post player Kirsten Clement combined for 32 points in the loss, but all other Bears’ players were contained to less than 10 points.

“We did good defensively,” Godwin said. “We had Jymetrea Jones, Ty Purifoy and Laneisha Jeans in foul trouble in the first half. We showed that we can go to our bench. That’s what we stress to our bench players all year … you never know when you’ll need them to step up.”

When Jones was called for her second foul in the first quarter, Kim Payne subbed in and made an instant impact.

Running the floor and offense and clamping down on defense, Payne made valuable use of her minutes to finish with six points, three rebounds and an assist.

But it was Britney Snowden’s (18 points, 12 rebounds, 4 steals, block) inside presence combined with Jeans’ outside scoring (13 points, 2 steals, 2 assists) which ultimately led the Eagles’ offense.

The Eagles will be gunning for a state championship, a feat that a Pensacola area team hasn’t accomplished since 2000 (Washington Wildcats.)


WHAT: Florida Girls Class 6A state basketball semifinals.

WHEN: 2:30 p.m. ET Friday.

WHO: Pine Forest (27-0) vs. Winter Haven (28-3).

WHERE: The Lakeland Center, Lakeland.

TICKETS: $10, parking is $8.

FORMAT: Pine Forest semifinal will be followed by Miami-Norland vs. Naples-Baron Collier in other semifinal. Winners play Saturday.


More USA TODAY High School Sports