Local Roundup: Menendez freshman tosses perfect softball game


Ponte Vedra 56

Belleview 43

Channing Chappell scored 21 points to lead Ponte Vedra to a Region 2-6A quarterfinal win over Belleview (18-10) Thursday night at the Sharks’ gym.

Chappell hit four 3-pointers for Ponte Vedra, which improved to 22-5. Riley Mayer added 12 points and Tess Tibbits scored 11 for the Sharks, who led 26-17 at the half.

Ponte Vedra will host Gainesville Eastside on Tuesday night in a regional semifinal.

Gainesville 72

St. Augustine 46

Senior Brianna Green and freshman Kyra Stauble scored 14 points apiece in a Region 1-7A quarterfinal Thursday night at Gainesville High.

Brakhei Burch added 11 points for the Yellow Jackets, who finished their season at 16-10.

Gainesville will visit Nease for a regional semifinal on Tuesday night.

Eastside 32

Menendez 29

Menendez senior Darrnisha Varnes hit a 3-pointer with 1:35 left to tie the score at 27, but Gainesville Eastside’s Diasia Medley followed with a 3-pointer of her own to put the Rams (16-9) ahead to stay in a Region 2-6A quarterfinal Thursday night at the Eastside gym.

Menendez led 24-22 after three quarters in the defensive battle, but Varnes’ 3-pointer was the Falcons’ first points of the fourth period. Varnes led the Falcons with 17 points.

Menendez finished the season at 15-8 for its first winning record in eight years.

P.K. Yonge 56

St. Joseph 37

St. Joseph led the Region 1-4A quarterfinal 26-21 at the half but couldn’t keep up with the fourth-ranked team in Class 4A in the second half in the loss Thursday night at Gainesville P.K. Yonge (19-7).

Senior Kayla Mansell had 12 points, nine rebounds and four assists in her final game for the Flashes, who finished he season at 13-10. Freshman Jessamy Gaetanos added nine points.

The much taller Blue Wave outrebounded the Flashes by only three, 42-39, but the home team scored 30 points in the paint.

“I’m really proud of my team, especially my seniors,” St. Joseph coach Sherri Nowatzki said. “Their hard work and dedication showed. They were the epitome of team basketball.”


Menendez 10

Palatka 0

Menendez freshman Mandy Taylor threw a five-inning perfect game on Thursday night.

She struck out 13 of the 15 batters she faced and did not let a ball leave the infield. Offensively, Taylor was 1 for 3 with a double and an RBI.

Alexa Gatlin, Lexi Poore, Madi Poore, Maddy Spossey and Leah Bryant each recorded two hits. Both Poore sisters scored twice, as did Spossey. Menendez improved to 1-1.

St. Augustine 9

Crescent City 5

Bailee Esguerra had three hits, including a two-run single in St. Augustine’s four-run first inning Thursday.

Nykki Burres and CeCe Killin each went 2 for 4 for the Yellow Jackets (1-0). Burres knocked in two runs and scored twice. Killin contributed an RBI and a run scored. Taylor Allen scored two runs and Jennah Long drove in a pair of runs.

Freshman Marlee Dillinger picked up the win, scattering four hits, striking out nine and waling one. St. Augustine hosts Ridgeview on Tuesday night at 7 p.m.

La Mere wins Matanzas 5K at the tape; Florida native Blaney wins women’s title

In the Daytona 500 they call it a slingshot move. In the Matanzas 5000, it’s simply called a finishing kick. Ian La Mere stalked Garrett Kenyon for the final mile of the Matanzas 5K Saturday morning, then passed him right at the finishing tape to win the event in a time of 14:07, one second ahead of Kenyon.

In the Daytona 500 they call it a slingshot move. In the Matanzas 5000, it’s simply called a finishing kick.

Ian La Mere stalked Garrett Kenyon for the final mile of the Matanzas 5K on Saturday morning, then passed him right at the finishing tape to win the event in a time of 14:07, one second ahead of Kenyon.

“He took the lead away from me at two miles,” said La Mere, competing as part of the Hansons-Brooks team out of Rochester Hills, Michigan. “He was running away from me, so I guess I kind of switched gears. I thought ‘Well, he’s in front so I better chase him down.’ I’m glad I had a kick to match his.

“There was a strategy to wait until we came around the final turn there, but it was more like ‘Whoop, I better go now.’ It was a fun race. I loved the course. It was really cool running along the bay and then coming back through the neighborhoods.”

Kenyon, racing for House Theory out of Beaver Dams, N.Y., thought he had the race won.

“It was a great race,” said the Colorado Springs, Colorado, native. “St. Augustine is a beautiful place. The first mile there was a pack of like six or seven of us. We were really tight. We kind of worked together. The second mile it kind of slowed us up a little bit, and so the final mile three of us just kind of broke away. I pushed the pace, took the lead a little early. I thought I had it. It’s all good, though. It will get me ready for the next race.”

La Mere wasn’t the only Hansons-Brooks runner in the event. The top three women finishers came down from Michigan with him, including a Florida native who won.

Anne-Marie Blaney grew up in Ocala and attended UCF. She finished in 15:53.

“We came down here for some good weather and good training,” she said. “Our coach has always been a fan of this race. It’s an awesome flat course, which I’m not used to in Michigan. I’m from Florida, so it’s nice to be back in the Motherland. It ended up being a real fast race. It was a really fast course and it was really fun to run.”

Second place women’s finisher Chelsea Blaase was four seconds behind her teammate, and 24 seconds ahead of third-place teammate Olivia Pratt.

“We all work together in practice every day and encourage each other,” said Blaase. “It’s nice to have a team atmosphere like that. We worked out in Orlando and came down here Thursday night.”

Head coach Kevin Hanson had more than one reason for bringing his team down south.

“I love St. Augustine,” he said. “My father lived here for a period and my brother got married here.

“We come down here to compete for the footing more than anything else. The temperature we can dress for, but if it’s sloppy footing we can’t get the work in. Also, if it’s cold you have too many layers on and it’s harder to run fast. Being down here in shorts, being able to sweat, makes it a lot more fun.”

Race director Reuben Franklin said they were able to top last year’s record number of competitors (985).

“We were just at 1,000,” he said. “It was a great day for a race and that finish was exactly what we were hoping for.”

St. Joseph won the trophy for the St. Johns County high school with the most runners at the starting line.