OKEECHOBEE — Heritage High School won a key district 6A-13 game Jan. 11 with a great defensive effort against Okeechobee High.
The Lady Panthers held the OHS team to 21 points and a season low 25 percent shooting as they defeated the Lady Brahmans, 59-21.
Okeechobee played without three starters: Lahna Baker, lost for the year to a torn ligament in her foot; Cheyenne Nunez, who had an MRI for a knee injury Monday; and, Raeley Matthews, who had other commitments.
Without the trio of talented players the Brahmans were at the mercy of the Lady Panthers who jumped out to a 19-9 lead in the first quarter, repeatedly got offensive rebounds and second chances, and caused numerous Brahman turnovers with their pressure defense.
Coach Colin Turley said his team started a little slow but went to a more up-tempo offense later on.
“We’ve lost the last three games and we wanted this win tonight. The district is pretty even and we take one game at a time. I think any team can win on any given night,” he said.
The Panthers had 25 steals as a team. Nydia Lampkin had 11 points, 10 blocks and five rebounds in the game.
Lampkin, a sophomore, said they wanted to win after a 100 mile bus ride from Palm Bay.
“It feels great to get this win. I saw that we had taller players so we fed the ball inside to the post players, played as a team, passed the ball to the open man and played together,” she said.
Heritage is now in third place in the district. Sebastian River is unbeaten at 6-0. Eau Gallie is 4-2, Heritage is 4-2, South Fork 5-3, and Okeechobee is 2-3 in district play.
Tatiyana Robinson had 10 points, Traci Mobe eight points, and Samantha Santana had nine points, five assists, five rebounds and five steals for Heritage.
Okeechobee (13-5) led 5-2 early but couldn’t keep the game close in the first half. Heritage led 34-14 at the half and 53-17 at the end of the third quarter.
Dymond Wiggins had two, three-point baskets for OHS. Shytria Ash had double-digit rebounds for Okeechobee.
Coach Turley said he was really proud of the team because they played hard and played together.
Heritage also won the junior varsity contest, 62-11 over OHS. The Panthers led 24-1 early and 38-9 at halftime.
Charles M. Murphy is a staff writer for the Okeechobee News