Mobley's Buzzer Beater Gives Devils Shot at Title in Win Over Orlando Lake Highland Prep, 60-57
Sat. December 29, 2012 at 2:00 a.m. | By Polk Preps Staff
By Thomas P. Corwin
Special to the Ledger
FORT MYERS | Trailing late in the fourth quarter, the Winter Haven girls basketball team needed that something special to win or force overtime. Who better than the Blue Devils' top player to step forward?
Cynkeria Mobley came up with a huge 3-pointer at the buzzer of regulation and then excelled in overtime as well, as Winter Haven registered a 60-57 overtime victory over Orlando Lake Highland Prep Friday afternoon in the Diamond Division of the Queen of the Palms basketball tournament in Southwest Florida.
The Blue Devils will now play for the Diamond Division title, facing Plantation American Heritage at 6:30 p.m. tonight in the championship game. American Heritage topped Seffner Christian 63-55 in another division semifinal.
Mobley had 36 points for Winter Haven. She connected on a 3-pointer at the buzzer and then had four points in the vital overtime.
"You can say one thing about these girls, they make mistakes sometimes, but they always play with a lot of heart," Winter Haven coach Johnnie Lawson said. "Mobley is one of the best in the country, maybe, and she doesn't get enough credit. Everyone on the team played so hard, they all deserve a lot of credit."
The Blue Devils not only needed to go to overtime to win, but also had to handle Lake Highland Prep's Destinee Walker, who netted 35 points.
"About all you can do is get your hands in her face a lot," Lawson said. She's obviously a great player, especially the way she had, you know, step-back 3-pointers in the game. Our girls came here this week knowing we'd have to play some big-time basketball. That's what it takes to win at these tournaments."
<b>Bartow 49, Viera 39</b>
The Yellow Jackets also reached their division finals Friday night. Bartow held off a fourth quarter comeback bid by the Hawks en route to a 49-39 win after another solid night from senior Zykira Lewis.
Lewis had 23 points for the game as Bartow got off to a 9-2 start. The Yellowjackets will meet Tampa Freedom in the Emerald Division finals at 8 p.m. tonight.
"This team has matured a lot this season, and we're learning to use all the weapons that we have," Bartow coach Richard Murvin said. "The key for us tonight is that we were disciplined. We showed discipline on both offense and defense, so everything went well."
Rolanda Hayes led Viera with 20 points.
"We have to continue to show discipline on the court," Murvin said. "If we play good Bartow basketball like we're capable, then everything will be fine."