Monday, January 30, 2012

Harder says Pinellas County schools ganged up against his 'Noles

If the Southeast High girls’ basketball team is going to capture its 13th straight district champion, the Seminoles will have to do it on the road and long head coach John Harder says that is wrong.

Harder sees the scenario as a product of home cooking and an example of poor sportsmanship and selfishness.

By virtue of being seeded number one, Southeast should be home for the Class 5A-District 12 title game assuming it wins its semifinal match, he says.

The problem Harder says is that four of the six teams in the district are from Pinellas County and they took care of their own, not considering Southeast and Bayshore.

The one good thing about getting the first seed if Southeast reaches the final it will likely have to beat the winner of the St. Petersburg Lakewood-Gulfport Boca Ciega game rather than have to face each other.

Realistically these are the only three teams with a chance to win the district championship. Southeast beat Lakewood at home and lost in overtime on the road at Boca Ciega on a controversial call at the end. They all finished 4-1 in the district and Southeast got the top seed because it had the best overall record (21-4).

Southeast has exceeded expectations because its core group of three sophomores is playing like seniors. It is sparked by forward Deangela Mathis, who leads the Seminoles in scoring (19.1 ppg), is second in rebounding (5.2 RPG) and shooting 59 percent from the field.

Keshawna Robinson continues to be a force on the boards. The 5-10 sophomore tops the Noles on the boards (10.4 rpg) and is third in scoring (11 ppg).

A big plus and somewhat of a surprise with her scoring has been 5-6 guard Bevin Mays, a defensive ace who is averaging 13.3 points and leads Southeast with 79 assists.

Lakewood, the defending 4A state champion, is expected to be without its top player, six-foot junior Tianah Alvarado, who is out with a knee injury. She averaged 30 points per game last year and was selected 4A state tournament MVP.

1 comment:

  1. Harder should be well aware of how the District Tournement is set up, how long has he been coaching? For him to make statements suggesting "homecooking" and that the district is taking care of Pinellas County schools and not considering Southeast sounds like sour grapes on his part.