Girls basketball: Wellington handles John I. Leonard

Nov 30, 2017
John I. Leonard’s Zaida Gonzalez (center) has the ball stolen by Wellington’s Mia Jones as Camryn Debose defends during the Wolverines’ rout of the Lancers in Greenacres. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

The Wellington girls basketball team took some time heating up Thursday night, but luckily for the Wolverines, they didn’t need many points.

The Wolverines dominated defensively, as Wellington (3-2, 2-0 District 9-9A) took down John I. Leonard (4-3, 0-2) 54-24, using a tight defensive press to limit the Lancers’ scoring opportunities.

“Just something we try to get going early,” Wellington coach Randy Soto said. “We’re an energetic, athletic team, so we try to focus on getting started early, getting going early.”

The Wolverines held the Lancers to only two points in the first quarter and six in the second.

“Just discipline, moving our feet, helping out and just communicating,” Soto said. “That was the big thing.”

Wellington did not get off to a hot start shooting the ball, either, managing only 12 points in the first quarter and 13 in the second.

But things turned around for the Wolverines in the second half.They doubled their score in the third quarter alone, turning a 25-8 lead into a 50-17 lead.

“We just started to be more selective in our shots and not force anything and tried to get going inside-out instead of outside-in,” Soto said. “Just focusing on the simple things, the easy things.”

Senior Sydney Jones, an Embry-Riddle signee, paced Wellington with 12 points. Fellow senior Jillian Duncan, a University of Pikeville signee, was second with 11. Zaida Gonzalez led the Lancers with nine points.

The district win was the second of the week for Wellington, following Monday’s 58-26 rout of Palm Beach Central on Monday. The Wolverines are angling for another run at a district title after losing the championship to Palm Beach Gardens last year.

“I think it’s important for us to build confidence, and we still have a lot to get better,” Soto said. “We have a tough district. It’s still the first half of the season, so I think we can accomplish our goals, but it won’t be easy.”

Palm Beach Gardens 57, Palm Beach Central 31: Kiera Brown had 21 points, five rebounds and six steals and Zariyah Washington added 12 points and four steals as the Gators handled the Broncos in Palm Beach Gardens.

Palm Beach Lakes 74, Port St. Lucie-Centennial 54: Brittany Wilcox scored 14 points, Rashara Simmons added 13 and Remi Halyard contributed 12 as the Rams overpowered the Eagles in West Palm Beach.

Jupiter 45, Seminole Ridge 27: Ellie Ide scored 13 points, and Veronica Edwards added eight points and seven rebounds as the Warriors (3-0) defeated the Hawks (0-2) in Loxahatchee.

Santaluces 54, Lake Worth 36: Brittany Howell scored 14 points and Whitney Howell added 10 points and 16 rebounds, leading the Chiefs (5-0) over the Trojans in Lantana. Recilia Nonnomere scored 18 points for the Trojans.

Park Vista 51, Atlantic 38: Brooke Bogatz had 28 points and five steals and Kayla Polsky added nine rebounds as the Cobras (1-1) defeated the Eagles (0-2) in Lake Worth.

Royal Palm Beach 60, Olympic Heights 23: Faith Krost scored 12 points, but the Lions (0-2) fell to the Wildcats in Boca Raton.

Boca Raton 62, Spanish River 12: Audrey Ramsey scored 16 points and Grace Alfieri added 14 as the Bobcats (2-2) rolled over the Sharks in Boca Raton.

Berean Christian 54, Fort Lauderdale-Calvary Christian 36: Therezhina Graham scored 14 points and Zoe Baumeler (13), Jenna Brannon (12) and Rachel Perez (11) also scored in double figures as the Bulldogs (1-3) defeated the Eagles (0-4) in West Palm Beach.