FLEMING ISLAND - Fleming Island High’s girls basketball team raced to another first quarter scoring blitz with a 9-0 start and 24-10 first quarter lead against Thomas County Central High of …
FLEMING ISLAND - Fleming Island High’s girls basketball team raced to another first quarter scoring blitz with a 9-0 start and 24-10 first quarter lead against Thomas County Central High of Georgia in the opening round of the Battle on the Island Basketball Tournament hosted by Fleming Island High School before surviving a sub-par third period to win 50-35 Thursday afternoon.
The win puts Fleming Island in the semifinals on Friday (5 p.m.) against Tallaassee Rickards (10-3); a first round winner over Orlando Evans High School and a region semifinalist last year.
“We just have to learn to close games out,” said Fleming Island coach Joey Williams. “We have had big leads on some good teams, but failed to win the games; against Creekside up 20-8 after the first quarter and against Ribault up 30-16 at the half, and we lost both with dreadful third periods. We looked like that tonight, but held on for the win.”
Fleming Island opened up against Central with a jumper from Aubry Burke, a three pointer from freshman Avery Cannon and a nifty Burke to Emma Richards assist to layup.
Fleming Island ramped up their
defensive pressure and got layups to push the score to 24-10 at the first quarter buzzer.
Makenna Miller came through in the second quarter with seven points off two jumpers and a three pointer as the lead grew to 35-20 just before halftime.
In the third, Fleming Island scored just six points while Central crept to a 41-31 deficit going into the final period.
“I need someone that can turn a switch and take over a game in the second half,” said Williams. “Little mistakes become costly and against the better teams on our schedule, that has been our downfall.”
Fleming Island corrected course in the fourth, outscoring Central 9-4 to preserve the win, but Williams was still frustrated with the inconsistency.
“I know we are young and with new faces comes transition and I hope to iron this stuff out by the districts,” said Williams, who took Fleming Island to the Final Four two years ago and the region semifinals last year.