PORT ST. LUCIE – The Okeechobee High School Lady Brahman varsity basketball team is heading to the district championship after defeating the Suncoast Lady Chargers 64-57 in the district semifinal on Feb. 5 in Port. St. Lucie. The win gives the Lady Brahmans a 20-5 record this season.
Okeechobee now moves on to face Jensen Beach in the district championship on Feb. 7.
The Lady Brahmans overcame a rough first half against the Lady Chargers to come back and win the district semifinal.
Okeechobee trailed Suncoast throughout much of the first half, which was a direct contrast to how things played out when these two teams met in the regular season. At halftime in that matchup the Lady Brahmans were up 28-17. They would go on to win 70-32.
Turnovers plagued Okeechobee throughout the game in the district semifinal, which let the Lady Chargers take the lead in the first half. Still the Lady Brahmans battled back and tied things up near the end of the second quarter with Alkeecia Clayton sinking a clutch three pointer and Caylie Huff hitting a layup to make it 31-31 heading into halftime.
The two teams exchanged leads multiple times throughout the second half, but with a little over a minute left in the game Okeechobee held a one-point lead 58-57.
In that final minute the Okeechobee defense took control of the game. The Lady Brahmans forced multiple turnovers and the Lady Chargers didn’t score another point.
Awaiting Okeechobee in the championship is the number one seed in the district, Jensen Beach. Jensen won their semifinal match-up on Feb. 5 against Boynton Beach 66-38.
Okeechobee faced Jensen in the regular season this year and fell 72-57. Lady Brahmans coach Jovanny Torres said that loss stuck with the team longer than usual. The Lady Brahmans knew if they took care of business in the regular season and in the playoffs they’d have another shot at Jensen Beach.
“They are hungry after that Jensen Beach loss,” said Torres. “I have never seen them so upset in the locker room after a game until that Jensen Beach game. They really took that loss hard. We watched the game film and they are so ready to get out there and fix the mistakes we made. They have seen what we needed to do and they are ready to get it done. All they talk about at practice is what they’re going to do to Jensen Beach in the district championship.”
Okeechobee will travel to face Jensen Beach in the district championship at 7 p.m. on Feb. 7.