Spruce Creek rallied from seven points down with four minutes to play to capture their first ever Class 9A state championship with a 44-43 victory over Miami Senior High Saturday night at the RP Funding Center.
With nine seconds left and down by one, guard Peryonna Sylvester drew a foul while driving toward the basket, after making both free throws to give Spruce Creek the lead. Miami Senior drove toward the basket and had two good looks but they rimmed out as the buzzer sounded that set off a wild celebration at halfcourt by the Hawks’ team and coaches.
There were three lead changes in the final minute as Rodriguez, Yoke Tassent and Shekinah Rachel each scored baskets.
“The girls could have done one of two things after being down at halftime, lay down or come back and fight,” Hawks coach Derwin Hamm said. “That last sequence almost gave me a heart attack.”
Miami Senior went to a stall tactic for three minutes in the second quarter to offset foul troubles, and it seemed to work as they went up by six late in the first half on a 3-pointer by Jennifer Rodriguez, who equaled her season average of 12 points.
“The girls did not pressure my girls on the stall tactic,” Stingarees coach Ron Baungartner said.“As was the case in the semifinal game, we had guard problems and it hurt us even though we had two good looks at the end.”