Prep girls basketball: Barron Collier rolls past Ida Baker in 6A regional quarterfinal

Special to the Daily News/Jason Easterly
Barron Collier's Kacie Frost struggles for possession of the ball against Ida Baker's Jessey Placher during the Class 6A girls regional quarterfinal game held on Thursday night at Barron Collier.

Photo by JASON EASTERLY // Buy this photo

Special to the Daily News/Jason Easterly Barron Collier's Kacie Frost struggles for possession of the ball against Ida Baker's Jessey Placher during the Class 6A girls regional quarterfinal game held on Thursday night at Barron Collier.

Like any good basketball team, the Barron Collier girls play to their strengths.

With only two girls taller than 5-foot-9 and none above 5-11, the Cougars don't want the ball in the paint much on either end. Barron Collier uses long-distance shooting to make up for a lack of height and a full-court press to wreak havoc on defense.

Both strengths were particularly strong Thursday in a dominant effort to open the state tournament. The Cougars hit 10 3-pointers and forced 28 turnovers in a 67-34 victory over Cape Coral-Baker in the Class 6A regional quarterfinals. Barron will play host to Fort Myers, which beat Gulf Coast 49-39, in the regional semifinals Tuesday.

"We're quick and small and fast," Barron Collier junior Megan Langham said. "We're not as tall as other teams. The press is a key part of our game, and we like to start it early."

After a slow start, the Cougars (16-13) overpowered Baker (14-12) with their aggressive defense.

It took Barron Collier two minutes to score, and the game was close early. Then the Cougars closed the first quarter on a 16-2 run and added another 16-2 run late in the second to lead by 30 points at halftime.

The Cougars forced 10 turnovers in the first quarter alone. Baker gave the ball away 18 times in the first half.

"All season we've kind of started slow then picked it up as the game went on," Barron Collier sophomore Olivia Ferrucci said. "Nerves were a little bit of a factor."

Barron's offense found its groove with hot 3-point shooting. The Cougars hit eight 3s in the first half, including three from Langham.

The Cougars scored 45 points before halftime after totaling just 44 last week in the District 14 final. Their first-half point total was more than they scored in nine games this season.

Langham had 14 of her game-high 16 points in the first half. Ferrucci scored 10 of her 12 before the break, including five points in the final 32 seconds of the first quarter.

The Cougars defense held Baker's leading scorers Jessey Placher and Hannah Del Negro to six points combined in the first half. The Bulldogs' duo averaged more than 32 points a game before Thursday.

The victory continued Barron Collier's run of success in the first round of regionals. It was the Cougars' 11th straight quarterfinal win the past 12 years; they missed the playoffs in 2009.

Baker fell to 0-2 all-time in regionals. The Bulldogs lost 54-37 to Barron Collier in last year's quarterfinals.

Elizah Pagkanlungan and Brighton Summers scored nine points apiece for the Cougars, each hitting three 3-pointers. Langham and Jakia Davis each had six rebounds.

Poacher led Baker with 12 points. Ali Nicloy added seven points and seven rebounds.

* * *

BARRON COLLIER 67, CAPE CORAL-BAKER 34

IDA BAKER (34)

West 0 0-0 0, Ross 0 0-0 0, Mouso 2 2-2 6, Nicloy 2 3-6 7, Rodriguez 0 0-0 0, Benvie 1 0-0 2, Br. Richarz 0 0-0 0, Kelley 0 0-0 0, Placher 4 4-7 12, Del Negro 3 0-0 7, Dubay 0 0-0 0, Driscoll 0 0-0 0, Casiano 0 0-0 0. Totals: 12 9-15 34

BARRON COLLIER (67)

Pagkanlungan 3 0-0 9, Jakia Davis 3 1-2 7, Jakella Davis 0 0-0 0, Denti 2 0-0 4, Gorton 0 0-0 0, Frost 2 0-1 4, Ferrucci 3 5-6 12, Summers 3 0-0 9, Langham 4 5-5, Vasquez 0 0-0 0, Guitard 0 0-0 0, Lozada 2 0-0 4, Gelabert 0 2-2 2, Holmes 0 0-0 0. Totals: 22 13-15 67

BAK 5 10 16 3 — 34

BC 21 24 20 2 — 67

Three-pointers: BAK — Del Negro; BC — Pagkanlungan 3, Summers 3, Langham 3, Ferrucci. Fouls: BAK 15, BC 13. Fouled out: None.

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