Both teams started at a torrid pace Saturday as Academy at the Lakes visited Seffner Christian, but with very different results. For the Crusaders' girls basketball team, the fast-break, high-tempo offense worked seamlessly. For the Wildcats, speed showed itself as impatience, failed to translate into points, led to falling behind quickly and coming up short as Seffner Christian won 63-45.
Academy at the Lakes (16-2) struck first, as Andrea Mauger put up a field goal on her team's first possession, but the offense seized up as the Wildcats added a few points on free throws, but didn't record another basket until midway through the second quarter.
By then, Seffner Christian (17-2) had found its rhythm and Jaitesha Hanson had 10 points (finishing with 13) in the opening half. Peyton Walker took over in the final two quarters, finishing with 17 points.
"We are always a fast-paced team — that's what we love to do," Walker said. "This was an athletic team, and today we played really hard and our speed pushed us ahead of them."
Crusaders coach Greg Fawbush said all season he has watched teams try to shut down either Hanson or Walker only to create opportunities for the other.
"With us, you have to pick your poison," Fawbush said. "Yes, Peyton had a great game, but for Peyton to have the game she had they had to really try and lock down Tesh (Jaitesha), and the mismatch all night was Tesh."
Mauger finished with 14 points, Tatiana Manuel added 12.
Seventh-grader Taylor Polasky had a solid game off the bench, hitting a pair of 3-pointers and tallying nine points in the loss for Academy at the Lakes.