P.K. Yonge girls basketball coach Willie Powers went into Friday’s District 2-3A championship game against Trinity Catholic (Ocala) looking for his 19th district title as Blue Wave coach.
P.K Yonge got it done but worked very hard to hold off Trinity Catholic, 51-47, to win the title.
Neither team led by more than three points, with the final score being the biggest margin of the game.
“It was a tough fight and we didn’t shoot the ball well, but we were resilient, ” Powers said.
“Every time they (Trinity Catholic) went on a run we came right back on a run and hit some big shots late.”
The two teams pretty much went back and forth exchanging leads for the entire game. The Blue Wave led 7-6 at the end of the opening period, and Trinity Catholic tied up P.K. Yonge at 18-18 at the half. The Celtics pulled ahead by two points, 34-32, at the end of the third quarter.
The fourth quarter was more of the same, but a big 3-pointer by senior Ilayzia Wilcox was followed by another trey from sophomore Zion McRae putting the Blue Wave ahead to stay at 48-47.
McRae, who led P.K. Yonge with 27 points, including 13 in the final period, hit three free throws in the final minute to finally put the Celtics away. Wilcox added nine points.
“Zion (McRae) hit some big shots down the stretch, but so did Ilayzia Wilcox,” Powers said. “Ilayzia has worked hard to get herself ready for those situations.
“I can’t say anything but good things about my girls. They played hard and gave me everything they could.”
P.K. Yonge, who beat Trinity Catholic on the road, 63-53, in December, will now await their opponent for a first-round 3A playoff game at home next Thursday.
Despite the loss, Trinity Catholic (16-10) is also expected to make the state playoffs.