Harkins ignites for Bronco win over Raiders


MIDDLEBURG – Middleburg High senior guard Jamyah Harkins is affectionately dubbed the “Queen of Steal and Deal” for her pesky defense and feeds downcourt to high-scoring teammates Mallory Roney and Britany Range, but the fleet-footed thief held the ball a step or two longer and wound up with her best offensive game on the regular season with 22 points to push the Broncos to a 90-61 non-district win over county rival Orange Park High on Friday at Middleburg High School.

“I just do what the teams needs to get done,” said Harkins, who had a 19-point night on January 28 in a 66-40 win over Bradford County. “Coach (Michael Hayward) has been trying to get me to take the next two steps and get the layup. I just go with the energy of the game.”

For Hayward, the big score; Middleburg’s second 90-plus game of the season, came from an aggressive front assault on the Raiders attack before guards Yoly Rosado and Nayeli Williams could get past the halfcourt line.

“We know we have to face Nease this week in our district tournament and that’s what we are trying to be ready for,” said Hayward. “I have been waiting for our four and five girls to come out and make our attack a five man attack. Jamyah had a great game and we want her to use her speed and take the shots when she can to free up Mallory and Britany.”

With both teams exacting pressure defense and breakaway scoring, Orange Park actually led 16-15 after the first quarter with Rosado nailing two three pointers and Williams pumping in one in concurrence with Hayward’s read on the Raider attack.

In the second quarter, the Raiders shots went cold and Middleburg revved up their attack with every shot making the nets. Roney, with 25 points on the night, hit the second quarter’s first three then added three breakaway layups; one with a bonus free throw to put Middleburg up 28-18 at the four minute mark.

In the latter part of the second quarter, Range, who led all scorers with 25 points (5 3-Ptrs) on her night of celebration for 1,000 career points, got her shots with a three to go to 42-23 just before the half with Harkins knocking down a buzzerbeater three to end the half at 45-23; a 30-7 quarter for the Broncos.

“We didn’t have Britany in one of the Nease games so she’s coming in strong at the right time,” said Hayward.

In the second half, Range ended the third with a three, then added two more late in the fourth as Orange Park has no answer to the Bronco sizzle.


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