Seabreeze may have a chance to redeem its district championship loss to Edgewater.
BY MATT MENCARINI | STAFF WRITER
The Seabreeze girls basketball team ended the night with a trophy. They smiled and took pictures, but it wasn’t the trophy they wanted.
The Sandcrabs lost to Edgewater 62-18 Feb. 2, in the Class 6A, District 8 championship on their home court.
“We played very hard,” head coach James Johnson said. “We were without two starters, and that kind of hurt. But hey, we did the best we could with what we had. I’m very proud of them.”
Johnson said Ashley Loyd and Chakera Fields, who missed the Edgewater game, will be back for the first game of the regional playoffs against District 7 champion Heritage High School.
If the Lady Sandcrabs beat Heritage, and Edgewater knocks out District 7 runner-up Melbourne High School, Johnson and his team will have another shot at the Eagles.
“Now everybody is 0-0,” he said. “We just have to go on the road to Brevard County and go down and get a big win. I’m quite sure Edgewater will beat who they play.
But it all depends on second-round play. "We (may) have to go back to Orlando and face them again," Johnson said.
To ensure Seabreeze has a chance to redeem Saturday night’s loss, Johnson said his team needs to be more consistent shooting, get back in transition and limit turnovers, all things that would’ve helped the Sandcrabs against Edgewater.
Seabreeze ended the first half on a five-minute scoring drought that saw the Eagles extend their lead from 25-10 to 36-10, all but putting the Sandcrabs out of reach.
It was Edgewater’s depth — nine players scored — and three-point shooting — three players hit a combined five three-pointers — that gave the Sandcrabs problems during that stretch and the entire game.
“We’re not a three-point-shooting team,” Johnson said. “They hit threes, we scored twos.”
Edgewater’s shooting ability, to Johnson, hurt most when Seabreeze turned the ball over or missed in transition and Edgewater came back the other way and hit a three-pointer. He said Edgewater shoots as well as any other team he has seen in Florida.
Shakaria Scantling, for the second game in a row, led the Sandcrabs in scoring. She had 10 points, and Zhamiria Bell and Alijea Russell each added four points.
After Seabreeze beat Deltona 59-26 Jan. 31, Johnson said he thought Bell could be the X-factor in a game between two teams that each press and play physical.
“It was very physical,” Johnson said. “That’s how we like to play. I think they were just a little deeper than we were and they ran us down. Once we got to seven, eight, nine (players deep) on the bench, it kind of dropped off a little bit.”