The girls varsity basketball team will post its first banner on the side of the athletics building after being crowned champions, defeating the Ponte Vedra Sharks 59-33 in the FHSAA Class 6A State Championship. Led by Small Schools Player of the Year senior Femi Funeus with 19 points, the Lady Patriots got revenge after losing in last year’s state semifinal to Jackson Ribault.
The team’s full court press defense was too much for the Sharks to handle, as Heritage led every minute of the game.
After escaping Lakewood High School 74-68 in a state semifinal overtime victory, the Lady Patriots put everything they had on the court, limiting the Sharks to 22 points at halftime.
Senior forward Tyaliah Willis made major contributions on both sides of the court with 14 points and four blocks. Sophomore sisters Tiana and December Stubbs also combined to chip in a total 16 points.
With 2:52 remaining in the game, Funeus subbed out and received a standing ovation from the team and crowd; her next steps on a basketball court will be at Seton Hall University next fall.
The Lady Patriots started practice one month after the loss to Ribault last season and have never looked back. 11 months later, the Lady Patriots can hoist the state title trophy in the air.