ORANGE PARK – With a roster that starts with a seventh grader and goes up to just juniors as upperclassmen, the St. Johns Country Day School girls basketball team teeters on the brink of …
ORANGE PARK – With a roster that starts with a seventh grader and goes up to just juniors as upperclassmen, the St. Johns Country Day School girls basketball team teeters on the brink of appeared disaster at times, but eventually calms to victories that has the team at 10 wins with just one loss.
The most recent win for coach Yolanda Bronston, a 54-38 win over Florida School for the Deaf on Mon., Dec. 18, came with an 18-5 first quarter lead before Florida Deaf’s athleticism outscored the Lady Spartans 17-13 in the second quarter to go into the lockers with St. Johns up 31-22.
“You saw how we kind of got topsy turvy in that second period,” said Bronston. “I think that they just are trying so hard that I have to coach them to manage the game when we get ahead.”’
In the district 2-3A lineup, St. Johns has pulled away from the rest of the district with their 9-1 record and a 4-0 district slate. Florida Deaf, in district 2-4A, had beaten 4A-St. Joseph’s Academy 47-46 on December 12 with St. Joseph the lone loss for St. Johns; a 46-39 game on December 5.
Florida Deaf had some height advantages against the smaller Spartans with eighth grader Semar Williams and
freshman Kinley Hall the tallest of the Spartans, but with inches given away to Florida Deaf center Lourdine Jordonne.
“We run a up-tempo style basketball and go hard all the time,” said Bronston, who has her team scoring 50-plus points in nine of her 10 wins with a 72-54 win over Clay in preseason play and a 64-33 win over Lake Mary Prep on December 14. “We condition a lot to do our style. I always tell them that the better conditioned athlete always has the advantage.”
St. Johns opened with junior guard Kendall Sage punching up a first quarter of six points and a second quarter of seven points to fuel the Lady Spartans opening round of play.
Junior Lea Hartwell added two three-pointers with twin sister Kyla Hartwell also hitting a three as St. Johns inside/outside game left shooters open on the perimeter.
Sophomore Maggie Kent controlled the scoring in the second half with six third quarter points keeping Florida Deaf from closing the scoring gap.
St. Johns, with returns after the Christmas break to get a second shot at St. Joseph Academy on January 9. St. Johns travels to Florida Deaf on January 31.