Girls basketball prepares for state semifinals

On+Friday%2C+Feb.+19%2C+the+girls+basketball+team+secured+their+position+in+the+FHSAA+Class+7A+State+Finals+as+they+took+down+Oak+Ridge+High+School+63-29%2C+claiming+the+Region+2+Championship.+The+girls+will+advance+to+the+state+semifinals+game+Friday%2C+Feb.+26+in+Lakeland%2C+FL%2C+where+they+will+face+Oakleaf+High+School.+

Hartley Hill

On Friday, Feb. 19, the girls basketball team secured their position in the FHSAA Class 7A State Finals as they took down Oak Ridge High School 63-29, claiming the Region 2 Championship. The girls will advance to the state semifinals game Friday, Feb. 26 in Lakeland, FL, where they will face Oakleaf High School.

Kate Caranante, Editor in Chief

The girls basketball team entered the playoffs as the No. 1 seed after finishing the regular season with a record of 21-3. After winning their district, the girls moved on to regional play which began on Thursday, Feb. 11 

The best part of the playoffs so far has been our student sections,” junior Silvia Farfante said. “It is so cool to see our friends in the stands cheering us on. It really makes us play harder and gives us a ton of energy.” 

Most recently the girls defeated Oak Ridge 63-29 on Friday, Feb. 19, claiming the Region 2 Championship and securing their spot in the state semifinals. The girls have won all four of their playoff games by a combined 244-95.

“The best part of playoffs has been the increase in competition,” senior Kendal Cheeseman said. “Our team thrives off of competition and it has helped prepared us to weather storms during the game and bounce back off bad possessions to work and come out with a win.” 

As the girls look on to the state semifinal game versus Oakleaf High School, there are certain things they know they must focus on in order to be successful. 

“The biggest thing we need to do to beat Oakleaf is be ourselves,” Farfante said. “As long as we keep our own pace and play our defense we will be set. We have been playing so long together and work so hard at practices to master our skills. All we need to do is be us.” 

Cheeseman agreed with what Farfante said and added that the team’s communication will also be a key factor in determining the game. The state semifinal game will be held in the RP Funding Center in Lakeland at 12:30 p.m. 

“It means a lot for us to be able to go back to Lakeland,” Farfante said. “Last year was really heart breaking making it that far and not being able to finish it. We have worked so hard this year to make sure we are able to get back to that last game, and this year we hope we can finish it.” 

If the girls defeat Oakleaf, the state championship game will be on Saturday, Feb. 27 at 8 p.m. at the RP Funding Center versus the winner of Palm Beach Lakes versus Miami game.  

As a team we have worked since the beginning of the season to get back to Lakeland,” Cheeseman said. “We’re really excited to get after it again after all the work that has been put in for this weekend.”