At the end of the current season, Seminole Ridge High School’s women’s varsity basketball team might very well be known as the “sensational seven.”
With just seven players, the Hawks have won their first eight games of the regular season. Only one match was close enough, a 56-52 victory at Westminster Academy in Fort Lauderdale on December 6. Three of the Hawks’ impressive wins this season have come against schools in Palm Beach County that have strong, top-notch production records. women’s basketball teams: Boca Raton, William T. Dwyer and Palm Beach Lakes. The Hawks outshot Boca Raton 61-18 on Nov. 18, beat Dwyer 77-32 on Dec. 9 and doubled Palm Beach Lakes 54-27 on Dec. 29.
Palm Beach Lakes has advanced to the final four in the Florida High School Athletic Association’s Class 7A State Tournament for the past two years. Clearly, the current Seminole Ridge team is the real deal and will likely be a force to be reckoned with at the FHSAA Class 6A State Tournament.
Seminole Ridge head coach Maria Hudson likes what she sees from her team, both in practice and on the field.
“It’s a great group of players who strive for excellence. We don’t have a single selfish player on the team,” said Hudson, who is now in her fifth year as a women’s basketball coach. at Seminole Ridge “We run hard in practice so we can run hard in games.
Seminole Ridge women’s varsity basketball team last year had a strong regular season, but COVID-19 hit the team at the end of the season, curtailing any dreams of a trip postseason to Lakeland for the state tournament. That memory remains fresh in the minds of the four players on this year’s team who were on the team last year.
“We need to stay healthy so we can play in the post-season,” Hudson said.
Each player on the roster, which includes three freshmen and two sisters, has played a big part in the success of the Hawks on the hardwood.
The two key players on the roster are a pair of senior co-captains: shooting guard Aspen Johnson and point guard Ashley Thornton. The 5-foot-11 Johnson, who is committed to Mercer University next year, is the team’s leading scorer. She averages 18.3 points per game. Thornton is averaging 16.8 points per game. Only 5ft 5in, Thornton plays way taller than his height.
“Ashley is our hidden gem because she’s not very tall and everyone overlooks her,” Hudson said. “She controls the ball, can pass, shoot and rebound.”
Thornton leads the Hawks in assists (3.4 per game) and steals (3.3 per game).
The two sisters are junior Iasiah Suprius and rookie Janiah Suprius. Iasiah is a transfer from Santaluces High School. She and Janiah are great contributors to the team.
“Iasiah is one of our great rebounders, and she’s a great shooter, averaging just over 10 points per game,” Hudson said. “Janiah is fast, athletic, agile, can defend and has an excellent basketball IQ for a freshman. She also averages just over 10 points per game.
Junior Kiori Butler is one of Seminole Ridge’s top defensemen. She thrives on being the proverbial “fly in the soup”, making life difficult for the opposition.
“Kiori is one of our big rebounders, dives for loose balls and is one of our executors on defense,” Hudson said.
Rookie Breanna Custodio, who averages five points per game, has a strong work ethic and gets better with every game. “Brianna loves to play basketball, is fast, ready to defend and is still learning the game,” Hudson said.
Freshman Jayla Midget is following in the footsteps of her older sister Jahnae, who graduated from Seminole Ridge last spring and now plays basketball for Palm Beach Atlantic University.
Unfortunately, Jayla is recovering from a broken toe suffered during the last vacation. She is not expected to return to the field until the end of January.
When she performed, Midget contributed in many different ways. “Jayla can score, rebound, dole out and steal,” Hudson said.
By early January, the Hawks were in Florida’s top 10 for Class 6A schools. If the team continues to win, this year’s team will truly deserve to be called the “Wonderful Seven,” especially if this group of young athletes can make it to the RP Funding Center in Lakeland for the annual State Tournament of FHSAA class 6A. next month.