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Lady Tiger Sharks sail into playoffs

Tim Croft
tcroft@starfl.com
The Star

The Port St. Joe Jr./Sr. High School girls’ basketball team is heating at the appropriate team, though it would be hard to identify any part of the season in which they were “cool.”

The Lady Tiger Sharks (20-5, 10-0) finished off the regular season by running their current winning streak to eight.

Since Christmas, Port St. Joe is 12-1.

The Lady Tiger Sharks have not lost to a Class 1A team (or Class 2A, for that matter) all season; the lone loss since the holidays came at Bay and early losses came against powers such as Niceville and West Florida.

The Lady Tiger Sharks, the top seed, opened District 4-1A play in Tuesday’s semifinals at Wewahitchka.

Port St. Joe will play the winner of Monday’s Liberty County versus Franklin County game.

With a win Port St. Joe would advance to the championship game 8 p.m. ET Friday, also in Wewahitchka.

The Lady Tiger Sharks wrapped up regular season play last week, including an afternoon game at Port St. Joe Elementary.

Port St. Joe 49, Graceville 32

In the second night of the “Red Hot Classic” at Blountstown, Port St. Joe broke out to a 15-8 lead and pushed it to 26-15 by halftime.

Amani Jones led Port St. Joe with 18 points and 14 rebounds, tossing out an assist and adding two steals and a block.

Mimi Larry had 14 points, four rebounds, six assists, a steal and two blocks, Jae Lenox 10 points, four assists and a rebound, Jahneese Brathwaite five points, four rebounds, one assist and two steals and Mari Johnson two points and three rebounds.

Port St. Joe 57, Rutheford 55

Playing in front of the student body as PJES, Port St. Joe fell behind 18-11 in the first quarter but rebounded to knot the score at 30-all at halftime.

The team played on even terms in the second half, ending regulation tied, on Johnson’s shot, at 49-49.

Port St. Joe won the overtime 8-6 in a thriller.

The Lady Tiger Sharks had four players in double figures scoring.

Johnson had 14 points and 13 rebounds along with a steal.

Jones also had a double-double, with 13 points and 15 rebounds and added two assists, two steals and two blocks.

Lenox added 13 points, four rebounds and four assists, Larry 13 points, seven rebounds, three assists and a steal and Brathwaite four points, five rebounds, five steals and three assists.

Port St. Joe 47, Rutherford 35

The next day the Lady Rams returned the favor and hosted Port St. Joe in front of the school’s student body. The results were different, with Port St. Joe jumping to a 14-8 first-quarter lead as the Lady Tiger Sharks led 22-17 at the half.

After a tight third-period ended with Port St. Joe up by seven the Lady Tiger Sharks pulled away in the final period.

Lenox led Port St. Joe with 12 points and added a rebound and steal.

Jones (12 points and 14 rebounds) and Johnson (10 points and 12 rebounds) both had double-doubles, Johnson adding two steals and an assist.

Larry was one rebound short of a double-double with 10 points, nine rebounds, two assists and two steals and Brathwaite scored 3 points.