Lady Stings’ Last Stand


Coach Baumgarten says that the whole team worked relentlessly through their 26-4 season and that it really showed in their games just how much work they were putting in.

By Juliana Jaramillo, Staff Writer

On Friday night, March 2nd the Miami High Lady Ballers proved their excellence by obtaining a victory of 48-31 in the Class 9A state semifinal game against Deerfield Beach advancing them to a well-deserved spot in the 9A state final game on March 3rd against Port Orange Spruce Creek.


The State Final Goes to The Last Second

The game commenced on Saturday, March 3rd at 7 p.m. at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland, and by halftime, the Stings had secured a lead of 27-17. In the second half, Spruce Creek fought back and the Sting shooting from the floor decreased from a 10-of-18 in the first to 5-of-17 in the second half.

Coach “Boozer” Baumgarten commented, “We kind of folded in the third quarter and couldn’t put the ball in the hole.”

With a minute left in the game the Lady Stings were down by three, 42-39.

5’9” senior guard Jannifer Rodriguez pushed her way into a tough driving layup with 30 seconds left cutting Miami High’s deficit to one. Spruce Creek then drew two fouls, which they were unable to convert into any points. This allowed the Stings to stay on the hunt with a one-point deficit.

Rodriguez then gained possession of the ball, with the clock winding down, and the crowd on the edge of their seats. She ran the ball through the court, drove to the middle and took a 15-foot shot that bounced off the rim.

Collen Bucknor, 5’11” sophomore forward, managed to get hold of the rebound, and she and put it back up. Unfortunately, the ball did not drop into the net, and the Lady Stings lost a tear jerker, 44-43.


Brimming with Sting pride, students rode the fan bus to States to cheer on the team.


In the Regional quarter final, on February 15, Miami High beat Everglades High School, 42-20.

At the Regional semifinal on February 20, the girls once again had to play Dr. Krop, whom they beat for the district championship on Feb 8, and once again the Stings came out triumphant, 52-33.

The Stings showed Ferguson on February 23 who really deserved to continue, in their tight game which ended with a one basket difference 50-48, giving Miami High the Regional title.

The journey to get to the State’s Final Four was a long one.  The Lady Stings never faltered throughout the playoffs, winning 5 straight games until there unfortunate loss to Spruce Creek on March 3rd.


Team Effort By Many Top Players

This year’s team had four seniors – Lamartrese Wilson, Andrea Gomez, Isabela Cabanzo, Janiffer Rodriguez- who have all been with Miami High since their freshman year. Coach “Boozer” Baumgarten commented, “Since we had more veterans on the team, we had a lot more ‘experienced’ players.”

Baumgarten says that the whole team worked relentlessly through their 26-4 season and that it really showed in their games just how much work they had been putting in.

“Boozer” recognized three players who stood out this season: “Our senior Captain Jannifer Rodriguez has had many amazing games throughout the season especially against Ferguson.” Collen Bucknor, who averaged 13 points in the regional game, “showed a lot of resilience being a sophomore.” Finally, Daria Whitely, another sophomore, who was playing despite an injury, “has had big games, and is the best defensive player on the team.”

There were many highlights throughout this memorable season, but Baumgarten said , “The Ferguson game was one of a kind. We’ve met each other to go to state repeatedly in the last 5 years, and they’ve won the last two, so it was a huge win for us.”