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Nease High School Girls Basketball

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Jan, 2022


When playing competitive basketball, keeping score is essential to the outcome.  In this way, one is always playing for something.  To the victor goes the spoils.  In the ‘Den’ on December 20, 2021, Nease had their way with Columbia to the tune of 70-36.  On the road on Tuesday, January 11, 2022, the Lady Panthers and the Lady Tigers engaged in an epic battle to the end.  Nease played their second consecutive game without junior guard Camryn Robinson, as she continues to fight off the flu bug.

Black activist Angela Davis once said, “walls turned sideways are bridges”.  Nease was faced with the inevitable task of shaking off Cami’s absence and the challenges presented by the long bus ride.  Lake City Columbia came out of their cage seeking redemption from the blowout loss at Nease.  The 6A, 9th ranked Lady Panthers emerged from their cage kind of sleep walking, while the Lady Tigers used the nap time to set the early pace of the game via a 4-0 run. Columbia is obviously much better than the 6-8 record on their resume and Nease would get the best of what the Lady Tigers had to offer on this night.  Spurred on by a partisan home crowd, Columbia tried to impose their will on Nease, The Lady Panthers displayed early signs of ineptitude, as witnessed by several careless turnovers.

A trey by Allie, followed by an assisted layup to Kendyl provided the wakeup call for Nease.  After a couple of free throws converted by the home team, the Lady Panthers trailed 5-6 at the 4:23 mark of the first period.  Savannah Gomes connected on consecutive shots from behind the arc to put Nease ahead 11-6.  Both teams concluded the period on even terms, but the Lady Panthers maintained the lead (15-10).  The start of the second quarter would mimic the first stanza, as Columbia jumped out to a 4-0 run to force an early timeout from Nease trailing by one point (15-16).  At the 5:30 mark, the score was knotted at 17-17.  Yet another 4-0 run would allow the Lady Tigers to regain the lead 21-17.  Sydney Gomes responded with two driving layups and free throws (7-0 personal run) to give the lead back to Nease (24-21) with 3:24 left before the half time break.  The fighting Lady Tigers triggered a significant 7-0 run to close out the half with the 28-24 advantage.

Nease came out of the locker room after intermission with a business-like approach, the catalyst for a 11-2 run to open up the third quarter and re-establish command (35-30) at 4:24 of the period.  A three-pointer and basket by Ryan and two bombs from Syd, pushed a 14-2 run to a 19-5 overall sequence. The Lady Panthers biggest lead of the night (43-33) would come with 2:00 remaining in the period.  Big ‘Mo’ was clearly entrenched on the side of Nease, The Lady Panthers won the third quarter battle by doubling up the Lady Tigers (23-11), as Syd Gomes tallied 15 of Nease 23 points scored.  With eight minutes of the epic battle remaining, the Lady Panthers were perched at the top 47-39.

Columbia’s star senior guard (Paxton), spearheaded a 8-2 run and the deficit was cut to three (50-47).  Whatever you can do, I can do better.  So said, Nease senior guard Syd Gomes, as the two standouts created thrilling final minutes of exhilaration.  The caged battle of titans (Panthers vs Tigers), had Nease holding on 52-49 with 3:31 left in regulation. In the midst of the frenetic pace, sophomore Ella Harrison would be true on a big three.  Out of a timeout and possession, Kendyl was fouled and calmly made both free throws to increase the lead 54-49 at the 2:11 mark. A long-range trey by Columbia was sandwiched between two emphatic drives and conversions by Syd Gomes.  With :30 remaining, Nease held the four point (58-54) advantage. After securing key rebounds leading to fouls from Columbia, Fifield was unable to convert consecutive front end of 1+1.  A layup by Columbia cut the deficit  (58-56) in the waning seconds of play.  Out of a timeout by Nease and :10.6 to go, Syd was fouled and displayed ice in her veins, calmly converting 1 + 1 bonus free throws. The Lady Panthers finally caged the Lady Tigers 60-58.

Don’t be that guy!  Columbia’s coach tried to create controversy by contesting the validity of the final score.  In the end, there was no way to absorb the defeat.  Nease (14-3) was led by a super-charged effort from Sydney Gomes.  The ‘Matrix’ scored 4, 7, 15 and 8 points in respective quarters to finish with 34 points on 10/20 shooting.  In addition to feasting at the charity stripe (12/14), Syd amassed another double-double by pulling down 10 rebounds and cemented her night with 5 dimes.  Junior forward Kendyl Ryan came up big on the night to compliment Syd’s effort. 'Red Bull’ tallied 9 points, including a big trey to go along with 6 steals, 4 rebs and 2 assists.  Her front court mate, Aliie Fifield pulled down 7 rebounds, scored 6 points and collected 5 steals.

 Nease hope to have their full compliment of players when they face off head to head with rival Ponte Vedra in the ‘Den’ on Thursday night.  On Tuesday, the Lady Sharks suffered a tough overtime loss on the road (42-39) to an undefeated St. Augustine squad.  Oh boy!  What great times lie ahead.  However, we will cross that bridge when we get there.  Coach Bernie Blue



Nease Girls Basketball

10550 Ray Rd 
Ponte Vedra, Florida 32081

Phone: 904-547-8300

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