by Nate Marrero | Correspondent
OCOEE In what was a back and forth affair, the Ocoee Knights girls basketball team (15-5) avenged its only loss in its previous 13 games, beating the Wekiva Mustangs (13-8) 53-49.
The Mustangs defeated the Knights 42-29 Dec. 31. Including that loss, Ocoee has won 12 of its past 13 games.
“It’s really feels good that we got we got that win, ” said Ocoee head coach Gina Solano. ” It’s the first time we beat Wekiva since I started coach here, so it’s kind of like getting a monkey off of your back.”
After trailing by as many as 17 points in the second quarter, the Mustangs clawed their way back into the game on the strength of a 9-0 run, trimming Ocoee’s lead to 26-18 with 2:17 left in the half. The Knights would go into halftime up 29-18 after a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from Ariel Colon.
The Knights maintained their double-digit lead throughout the third quarter and entered the fourth up 42-29. The Mustangs then opened the fourth quarter on a 14-4 run to trim Ocoee’s lead to 46-43 with 2:45 left in the game.
The Knights would manage to hold onto their lead, though, as free throws from Di’mon Steele along with Colon's free throws and a late layup with 35 seconds left, helped seal the four-point victory for the Ocoee.
Colon had a game-high 21 points for Ocoee, while Dynasty Carter added on 16 points.
Tyra Graham and E’toni Holloway each had 11 points for Wekiva.
While the win was significant for the whole team, Solano felt the win was especially big for Colon — having been at Ocoee since her freshman year and with this being her first win over Wekiva.
“The biggest satisfaction was getting the win for Ariel, ” Solano said. “We’ve played them since she’s been here, so I think it’s big that we got that win.”
Nate Marrero is a senior at Ocoee High School and an aspiring sports journalist.