The Northeast girls basketball team used a frenetic press to force 22 turnovers by Sarasota Booker, paving the way for a 61-45 victory to win the Suncoast Classic championship.
The Vikings relied on pesky defense and three scorers in double figures and six different players scoring. Northeast also kept the Tornadoes’ best player, Yamaris Guevarez (who plays for the Puerto Rican under-18 national team) stuck on the bench because of foul trouble to chart the course to victory.
The play of the game came early in the second quarter, when senior guard Zoi Thompson posted up Guevarez and drew her into a third foul, changing the complexion of the game.
Northeast then outscored the Tornadoes 24-5 in the quarter, caused 17 turnovers and led Sarasota Booker 36-18 at halftime as the contest was pretty much in hand.
Thompson made her presence known with 15 points, seven rebounds, seven assists and four steals.
The senior was named to the all-tournament team, and teammate Laura Fizell finished with a game-high 18 points and was the tournament MVP.
Northeast is now 16-1 overall and riding a nine-game winning streak. Coach William White believes this team is special.
“There is zero drama with this team,” White said. “They are a very unselfish group.
“They all want what’s best for the team, and we have a big wave of momentum right now heading into district play.”