Lady Canes hold-off Columbia in District Championship

Lady Canes hold-off Columbia in District Championship

- Gainesville, FL

By: Jennica Clerveaux

On February 4, the Gainesville Hurricanes’ girls basketball team hosted the Columbia Tigers in Gainesville for the 6A District 3 Championship.

Both teams played aggressively on both sides of the ball, but the Canes proved to be too much for the Tigers in the 70-62 win.

Leyah Houston played a major role in Gainesville’s dominant performance. The junior was fresh off of earning a 1,000-career points milestone, and contributed 27 points in the Canes’ victory. Houston also finished the night with 11 rebounds, five assists and shot 47% from the field.

Three other Lady Canes closed out the night in double-digit points, including junior Ta’Niya Walker with 12, senior Awyna Carter with 11 and senior Imari Keenon with 10.

Notable performances from the Tigers included senior Na’Haviya Paxton’s 29-point performance. As well as a 14-point game for senior Camille Perry.

However, the physicality both sides played with is what stole the show. Both teams displayed extreme aggression until the final buzzer. There were over forty fouls committed by both teams combined by the end of the night, with three players eventually fouling out.

Columbia’s aggression was apparent on the defensive front. The Tigers forced 13 turnovers in the fourth quarter alone. Just as Columbia benefited from their physical style of play, it also led to their downfall. 13 of Houston’s 27 points came from the charity line. She sank 13 of her 18 attempts.

The Tigers also benefited from being sent to the line. The team finished shooting 62% at the line on 18 of 29 attempts.

Up next, the Lady Canes look to defeat the St. Augustine Yellow Jackets in the Regional Quarterfinals of the FHSAA Class 6A Girls Basketball State Tournament. The match-up is set for February 10 at 7 p.m.