JACKSONVILLE– Fleming Island High senior guard Molly Ragle returned to the Golden Eagles fast-moving lineup and punched up a buzzer beater gamewinning three pointer as her first order of business …
JACKSONVILLE– Fleming Island High senior guard Molly Ragle returned to the Golden Eagles fast-moving lineup and punched up a buzzer beater gamewinning three pointer as her first order of business in a 64-62 come-from-behind tournament match with 7A region finalist Nease High Friday afternoon at the First Coast High Thanksgiving Classic in Jacksonville.
“Molly coming back from her injury from last year will be a big boost for the team,” said Fleming Island coach Joey Williams, who looks to further his season to the Class 8A championship game after falling in last year’s state semifinal to eventual runnerup South Broward High School. “We have some new faces this year, but Molly, Aubrey (Burke), Tia (Robinson) and Hope (Rozier) are my leaders.”
Against Nease, Fleming Island rifled to a 33-25 halftime lead behind a strong rebounding and reshoots from Burke underneath with Robinson, the team’s top scorer with 21 points on eight field goals, orchestrating the fast-paced attack at point guard.
In the third quarter, Nease mounted a strong comeback as the Golden Eagles shooting went cold as a 24-7 Nease effort scored the game at 49-40 as the fourth quarter started.
In the fourth, Fleming Island reversed the trend with a 24-13 effort with the game getting to 62-61 with just six seconds left in the game forcing a time out from Williams to set up a final shot.
Ragle, who had been setting up off the three point circle on the left side of the basket, eventually got a pass on the right side of the circle and nailed a jumper that ignited the Golden Eagle bench. Ragle hit four three-pointers in the game.
Burke finished with 13 points plus eight rebounds to lead the team in rebounds. Freshman center Skylar Baltezegar added five blocked shots underneath.
“She could be a solid post player for us once she gets used to our pace,” said Williams. “We are used to playing with five guards out there. She could add some boards with Aubrey underneath.”
Against Bradford County, on November 21, Fleming Island opened with a 71-28 drubbing led by 13 points from Robinson and 12 apiece from Ragle and Moriah Martin, a transfer from Clay High. Ragle hit four three pointers in the rout. Robinson and junior Madison Mas had eight rebounds each.
Also in district 4-8A play, Oakleaf opened their season with a 61-52 non-district win over region 1-5A finalist Fernandina Beach on November 21 at Oakleaf High School. Fernandina Beach finished 29-3 last year.
Sophomore Ma’Ria Davis led the Knights’ scoring with 18 points with senior Jalisa Lee adding 16 and senior Sabria Littles getting 13. Lee was top rebounder with 11 boards.
Oakleaf gets right into the meat of their district 4-8A slate with Bartram Trail on November 28, Creekside on December 5 and Fleming Island on December 8.