FHSAA basketball

Fort Myers Scores 7A Title Victory

Make it three in a row for the Fort Myers Green Wave. Undaunted by forfeits during the regular season, the Green Wave took their frustrations out on their opponents on the court, the last being the Fort Walton Beach Choctawhatchee Indians.

Using the inside force of Chaniya Clark, the outside shooting of Tatum Hayes and the leadership of Destanni Henderson, the Green Wave captured the Class 7A FHSAA girls’ state basketball title with a commanding 65-41 victory over the Indians Saturday at the RP Funding Center.

“I’m proud of the girls,” said Green Wave coach Chadrick Terrell, who officially finished the season with a 14-15 record. “We’ve been through a lot this year. For them to finish it off like this is a great time.”

Clark finished with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Janay Outten scored 16 points (many coming on transition baskets and layups from Henderson, who had eight assists, eight rebounds and seven points). Hayes added 15 points for the champion Green Wave. Fort Myers had 19 assists on 25 made baskets in the game.

“It’s a blessing to end the season off like this,” said Henderson, a South Carolina signee. “We’ve been through so much on and off the floor. To end it off with a win and I’m a senior, it’s a blessing.”

Amber Leggett led all scorers with 18 points for Choctawhatchee (21-4). Ataliya Brown had 10 points but was 2 of 10 from 3-point range.

An important factor in Saturday’s game was the Green Wave’s defense. They hounded Brown from the start, while also attempting to deny 3-point shooter Alexis Becker. That was her lone basket in seven attempts of the game and she finished with five points.

“We wanted their guards to feel us for four quarters and not let them get in a comfort zone,” Terrell said. “We know that (Brown) had been shooting the ball well so we wanted to make sure she had to work for everything.”

After Becker’s 3-point shot gave Choctaw their only lead of the game at 3-2, Tatum immediately answered with a three, followed by two baskets on the inside by Clark giving the Green Wave a 9-3 lead.

 Choctawhatchee was able to cut the lead to 15-11 in the second quarter, but it was too much Clark and Hayes in the first half and Green Wave defense. The Indians had 18 first-half turnovers and made just 2-of-14 3-pointers.

FORT MYERS (65): Chcaniiya Clark 7-12 3-9 17, Bethany Brunsion 0-5 4-6 4, Janay Outten 6-9 4-4 16, Destanni Henderson 3-8 0-0 7, Tatum Hayes 6-14 0-0 7, Tatum Hayes 6-14 3-8 15, Alaina Johnston 0-1 0-0 0, Giovanni Santos 0-0 0-0 0, Samara Spencer 2-4 0-0 4, Riley Ludlam 1-1 0-0 2, Alexsis Johnson 0-2 0-0. Totals: 25-56 11-19 65.

CHOCTAWHATCHEE (41): Amber Leggestt 7-20 4-6 18, Kassadra Fairly 0-0 0-0 0, Miranda Brown Hogans 1-5 0-0 2, Ataliya Brown 4-14 0-0 10, Alexis Becker 1-7 3-5 6, Makayla Brown Hogans 1-4 1-2 3, Keyosha Warren 0-0 0-0 0, Bella Terran 0-0 0-0 0, Mercedez Hart 1-1 0-1 2. Totals: 15-51 8-14 41.

Fort Myers; 15;17;22;11;-; 65

Choctawhatchee; 7;14;11;9;-; 41

FG %: FM 44.6 %, Choctaw 29.4 %. Three-point field goals: FM 4-16 (Hayes 3-8, Henderson 1-3, Outten 0-1, Spencer 0-1, Brunsion 0-2). Choctaw 3-20 (A. Brown 2-10, Becker 1-7, Ma. Brown 0-1, Mi. Brown 0-2). Team fouls: FM 14, Choctaw 14. Fouled out: none. Technical fouls: none. Rebounds: FM 39 (Clark 11). Choctaw 35 (Leggett 12). Assists: FM 19 (Henderson 8). Choctaw 9 (A. Brown 3). Blocks: FM 3 (Brunsion, Outten, Hayes). Choctaw 5 (Leggett 4). Steals: FM 9 (Hayes 2, Spencer 2). Choctaw 7 (A. Brown 4).

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