Wildcats go on third quarter scoring spree

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The Wildwood High girls basketball team went on a 10-1 scoring spree in the third quarter en route to a 41-33 non-district win over Lecanto Thursday at the Wildcat gym.

Wildwood is now 16-5 on the season and preparing to host the Class A-District 8 tournament in another week. Lecanto fell to 4-17.

Briana Rushing, a 5-10 freshman, scored four points in the quarter and 14 for the game. She also added seven rebounds and a blocked shot.

Unfortunately for the Wildcats, Kari Niblack, a 5-10 eighth grade forward, reinjured her ankle and was taken out in the first period.

Both teams tied at 7-7 at the end of the first period. Toni Zito led the Cats with four points.

Wildwood then outscored their foes 14-10 in the second half. Rushing had six points and Wildwood had a 21-17 halftime lead.

Wildwood outscored Lecanto 8-5 in the fourth quarter.

Lecanto’s Ohio Moehring led her team with 13 points.

The Wildcats pressing defense forced the Panthers into 22 turnovers and the Cats converted many to points.

“We played a little rough,” said coach Richard Hampton. “We were one man down. Kari Niblack hurt herself Tuesday. She twisted her ankle. It was hurting a little. I felt like we played good in spurts. We had three or four minute blocks where we played extremely well. We followed it up with three or four minutes where we didn’t play so well.

“The third quarter, half of it was a good spurt for us. I was really pleased with us in the fourth quarter. The contested us.

“I was so proud tonight of the play of my point guard, Jacarria West. That’s the best game she has played all year. She is starting to handle the ball with some confidence. If I can get her to continue to continue to run the offense, it will make it a whole lot better. Her turnovers were minimal. I was pleased with that.

“She (Rushing) had to step it up and she did. She knew Kari was out. She averages around 13. She is a freshman. We start three freshmen, an eighth grader and one junior.

“Coming off the bench, I though Kashla Acosta played well.

“They are young and erratic. Some nights, we shoot 50 percent and some nights, we shoot 12.”

Friday, they will play South Sumter High in Bushnell.