Lady Eagles rolling to tourney time

By Ray DiMonda Correspondent
Posted 12/23/20

FLEMING ISLAND - The Providence Stallions tried to stampede into the Eagles Nest as they broke out to an 11-10 end of the first quarter lead against host Fleming Island. In the second quarter, it was …

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Lady Eagles rolling to tourney time

Posted

FLEMING ISLAND - The Providence Stallions tried to stampede into the Eagles Nest as they broke out to an 11-10 end of the first quarter lead against host Fleming Island. In the second quarter, it was all Golden Eagles, amassing 25 points to tame the Stallions and wear them down en route to a 61-50 win Friday night at Fleming Island High School.

“That was the best quarter of play we’ve had all year” said Golden Eagle Head Coach Joey Williams, noting double figure scoring from three players; Avery Cannon (17, 3 3-Ptrs), Emma Richard (15, 2 3-Ptrs. 2Block shots) and Isabelle Flores (14, 7Reb). “That’s a tenacious little team right there. People look at them and they are not that big, but they can take away the ball and turn a game real fast.”

Once in control, Fleming Island was able to hold Providence at arm’s length, hard as the Stallions tried, and finish them off 61-50 for a second high-scoring game in a row.

The night prior, the Golden Eagles swooped in to the Bishop Snyder High School Cardinals gym and put on a clinic, dominating the Cardinals in all four quarters as Williams had an opportunity to test out some of that depth on the bench.

“In the third quarter, we had a good run and really opened up the lead,” said Williams.

Fleming Island, now 4-2, held Bishop Snyder to a 22-6 third quarter on their way to amassing 70 points as they held the Cardinals to 36.

Williams, dealing with an early season gut punch when one of his top six had to give up the sport for the season, faces an issue with depth.

“I have to get to my bench. I have to take a chance and just go to the bench,” said Williams. “I have my starters, and now my first one off the bench is a freshman. We’re a young team.”

Even with the depth issue, the Golden Eagles hustled to take the Stallion rebounds and cash them in during the fever-pitch second quarter. Going into the half 35-18, Williams was just about to his comfort spot to get to the bench.

“I’m trying to build that 20 point lead and start subbing,” said Williams. “We have to get some games under our belts and try them out.”

After the half, Providence made the adjustments and William’s plan went right out the window.

“I know their Coach well (Providence Coach Gigi Bistrow),” said Williams. “She’s one of the best around. I know she’s never out of the ballgame.”

The Stallions shut down the lanes and forced Fleming Island to make mistakes which Providence capitalized on. Every time Fleming Island would bump the score out by four or five more, the Stallions nosed right back in with steals for points. But late in the game, Williams used smart timeout management to break all of the Stallion momentum.

Although outscored 19-14 in the third, and 13-12 in the fourth, all that energy and hard work in the second quarter paid off as Providence could not stop the keep-away the Golden Eagles employed to drain the clock in the last two minutes.

“To date, that was the best all around game they played,” said Williams. “Monday, we have a tournament and I’ll be able to better assess the other girls. I love this team and I love that bench. We just have to try some things early in the game, maybe against Baker County (in the tournament). It’s not easy seeing them sit.”

Fleming Island is hosting the Battle on the Island during the Holiday break, just the chance Williams is looking for to get the game situations and pressure his team needs.

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