Sports Editor

The St. Cloud girls basketball team tallied 46 first-half points Tuesday and cruised to a in a 69-37 Orange Belt Conference victory over Gateway.

The Bulldogs (4-1) knocked down seven three-pointers in the first half; Bailey Ansbaugh and Moriah Sanchez had three apiece.

“That’s what’ll happen when you shoot like that,” St. Cloud Coach Chad Ansbaugh said. “There’s still things we need to do on defense to be better.”

SC GBB playing defense

St. Cloud clamped down on Gateway Tuesday with a zone defense, and their offense helped widen a lead in a 69-37 Tuesday in an Orange Belt Conference game.

Despite a competitive first quarter, St. Cloud pulled away in the second quarter and took the 46-27 lead into halftime.

“We game-planned and then were missing a starter,” said first-year Panthers Coach Justin Marino, who led a successful program at Neptune Middle School before coming to Gateway. “But we’re improving, and we’ll forget about November and December if we can win in February at (the district tournament).”

In other girls basketball games, Poinciana nearly came back from a 35-21 halftime deficit, but it was Liberty picking up its second win with a 52-50 victory in the rivalry game Tuesday.

Celebration got 21 points from Jillian Jones and 12 from De’Nyisha Reynolds and outlasted Poinciana, 46-40, on Wednesday.

Harmony got its first win of the year Wednesday with a 45-27 win over Tohopekaliga. The Lady Tigers are still looking for the program’s first victory.

Osceola knocked off George Jenkins, 47-42, in a District 9A-7 game. Angel Roman led the Kowgirls with 20pts and Mya Lomax added 13.

Boys basketball: Celebration (2-2) rebounded from a loss to Osceola on Monday with a 63-49 win Tuesday over Lake Alfred Discovery.

Poinciana (3-1), which had opened the season with three one-point games, eliminated the drama early against Lake Region on Tuesday with a 73-41 win. Patrick Usher led the Eagles with 19 points.

Boys soccer: Osceola picked up a first-half goal and made it stand up Tuesday in a 1-0 win over Harmony in District 5A-9 action.

Tohopekaliga got its second win Tuesday over Gateway, 4-0. Alvin Funes, Will Johnson, David Turcio and Stephon Davis each scored for the Tigers (2-4) and freshman goalie Alexander Diaz made four saves.

Poinciana picked up a District 3A-11 win Tuesday over Sebring. Cristovan Gomes, Mo Al-Haddad and Caleb Mallia tallied for the Eagles (1-5) and Juan Bautista and Gian Olivieri had assists in PHS’ first win.

Celebration, playing a schedule front-loaded with strong teams, drew with Vero Beach, 1-1 on Tuesday. The Storm (5-1-2) defeated the Indians in the first round of the regional playoffs last season.

“Their effort is there, it falls solely on me by not preparing them enough,” CHS Coach Chad Boudreaux said. “This week we had a motivational talk on Monday. We should be better prepared going forward.”

Girls soccer: Harmony had a big week, with 11-0 victories over Liberty and Osceola Monday and Wednesday. Abby Johnson, Lindsay Larisa, Carlie Rucks, Reinna Scott, Sam Blanchard and Vanessa Bolen were among the multiple-goal scorers during the week for the Longhorns (5-0-1), who have outscored opponents 39-1 in six matches.

HHS GS Yenni Calles

Harmony defender Yenni Calles works to keep the ball in Longhorns possession during a match against West Orange. HHS is 6-0-1 and has outscored opponents 39-1.

"I admire the girls for going out, staying focused and taking care of business early," HHS Coach Scott Marlega said.

Wrestling: The Danny Byron Invitational, which will bring together nearly two dozen of talented wrestling squads, began this afternoon and goes through Saturday at the Osceola High gym.