ENGLEWOOD — The Englewood SKY Academy’s boys and girls basketball teams opened the season Tuesday against visiting Sarasota Military Academy, but with vastly different results. The boys were edged in a cliffhanger 23-22, but the girls rolled over the visitors 47-8.
In the girls game, the SKY Storm jumped off to a 20-0 lead by the end of the first quarter with good shooting and controlling the boards against the shorter visitors.
Storm coach Erica Olson rested her entire starting lineup in the second half as the game went to a running clock. Makenzie Kelley led the winners with 12 points and Mackenzie Long added 10.
Jacoby Maldonado added 7 and Abby Huthman scored 6 for the winners.
“The key for us was our rebounding,” Olson said. “That and our ability to find the open player. We were able to get a lot of easy shots. Last year, we had to go to the wire to beat them. I didn’t think it would be this easy this time.”
In the boys contest, the Storm led almost the entire game before Sarasota Military Academy rallied for the victory in the final quarter. Englewood SKY led 15-8 entering the final quarter, but SMA scored 6 straight points to make the score 15-14. The Storm got a basket by Austin Werden to make their lead three at 17-14. But the visitors came back to take a 21-17 lead. Luke Jaques made five of six free throws to pull the hosts within one point at the buzzer.
The game had begun with Englewood SKY taking an 8-5 lead at the end of the first quarter, and neither team scored in the second quarter.
Werden, who was a standout player on the Storm flag football team, led his team with 11 points. The winners used a balanced attack to win the game.
“We just got tired at the end,” said Storm boys coach Jeff Underwood. “We made a few mistakes and that probably cost us the game.”
The Storm will host Lincoln for boys and girls games this Tuesday afternoon, starting at 4 p.m.