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Feb, 2021

BEAR DOWN & ADVANCE

On Tuesday night in the Bear’s Den, the #2 seed Lady Panthers (18-5) took on the tournament host and 3rd seed Bartram (Lady Bears / 15-6)) in the District 1 (7-A) semifinals. With the wind swirling on the outside, both teams struggled mightily to score in the opening period.  Talking about a frigid night, the first basket did not come until almost midway through the quarter.  The cold shooting night resulted in a 4-4 deadlock after the first eight minutes were concluded.  Nease went 2/13 in the quarter and Sydney Gomes scored all the points for Nease in the period.

Things were much different in the second quarter, as each team began to capitalize on the opportunities afforded to them.  Nease relied heavily on the starters all night and were able to withstand some early potential foul trouble.  All five starters scored in the period to lead the Lady Panthers to the (16-13) edge in the quarter and a half time lead 20-17. With 2:15 remaining in the quarter, Nease would trail by three (14-17).  The Lady Panthers ended the quarter on a 6-0 run that was punctuated by a steal and basket by Stephanie Manherz to close the quarter and serve as a conduit for what was to come.

Steph connected on two big treys in the third quarter and Nease used a 18-6 period to extend the lead to double digits (38-23) with one final quarter to decide the season fate for both teams.  The Lady Panthers pounced on the Lady Bears in the third quarter.  Again, each starter got in on the scoring and the third quarter onslaught by Nease would put them in a prime position for the victory.

However, the turnover bug began to plague Nease in the early goings of the final period.  Bartram defensive trapping scheme proved beneficial in their desperate quest to gain additional possessions.  The Lady Bears efforts resulted in an 8-0 run to cut the deficit to seven (38-31) with 6:00 remaining.  With the fanatic effort dictated by Bartram, a premium was placed on taking care of the ball. Nease burned consecutive timeouts before the Lady Panthers got up off the deck to close out things. With renewed composure, Syd would scored a couple of baskets and set up Desi for a beautiful assist down the stretch. Nease converted 3 out of 4 free throws to finish off Bartram and advance to the District Finals on Thursday at 7:00 PM.

The Lady Panthers will do battle with the #1 seed Lady Knights from Oakleaf, who held on for the 59-57 win against a determined Mandarin squad in the nightcap semifinal.  Oakleaf (20-2) defeated Nease (19-5) in a late-season high scoring affair (82-77).  The Lady Panthers have marked this potential rematch on the calendar.  Now that the time is at hand, Nease will be seeking revenge on a neutral floor.

 In Tuesday’s semifinal win against Bartram, several contributions are worthy of noting.  Sydney Gomes scoring  and Desiree Robinson rebounding combined with her defensive presence in the middle paid big dividends on the night for Nease.  Alli and Desi worked collectively to maintain Bartram's big center  Syd finished with 21 points, 3 assists and 3 steals, while Desi just missed out on a double-double with 8 points and 14 rebounds.  Steph was her usual self as a heckler on the defensive end, tallying 10 points, 7 rebs and 4 steals.  For the love of the game, let’s do it again.  Individually and collectively, we are thankful for our opportunities and the lessons learned along the way.  Stay attached to the vine and the victories are always sweeter.  Who Are We?  NEASE!!  What Is Your Name?  LADY PANTHERS!!  And don’t you forget it.    

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Nease High School Basketball

10550 Ray Rd 
Ponte Vedra, Florida 32081

Phone: 904-547-8300

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