Vanguard girls’ hoops hosts North Marion on Tuesday

Vanguard KnightsBy Olivia Granaiola

The Vanguard High School (Ocala) girls’ basketball team will head into today’s match-up against North Marion with a big win under their belt.

On Thursday, the Lady Knights had a good old-fashioned rout over Lake Weir (Ocala), winning 61-9. The win improved Vanguard’s overall record to 9-7 and brought their district record to 2-3.

There are many factors that went into Vanguard’s 52-point win, but the Lady Knights’ strong back court was a major one.

Freshman guard Nasia Powell led the team with an explosive 29 points and five steals. Junior guard Essence Bell was not too far behind Powell, though.

She accounted for 16 of Vanguard’s points, grabbed five boards, and managed three steals.  These numbers may sound crazy, but for Powell and Bell, it’s just following protocol.

Freshman Nasia Powell

Freshman Nasia Powell

Powell has only been playing high school basketball for a few months, but she’s already leading the 7A district in points with a whopping 25.4 per game. She’s also showcased her high basketball IQ and quick-thinking skills with an average of 3.4 steals per game.

Bell is another strong presence for the Lady Knights.

She is a master off the glass, grabbing 9.1 rebounds per game, a statistic that leads 7A. She also completes her game with 4.1 assists and 2.8 steals per game.

Offensively, she scores 14.3 points per game, and Coach Terrance Lewis says she will eclipse the 1,000-point career benchmark around the second half of the season.

Junior Essence Bell

Junior Essence Bell

Powell and Bell led the victory over Lake Weir, but senior guard Beijing Ferguson added six points, three assists, and two steals to Vanguard’s game.

Despite the Colts 6-8 overall record, Vanguard should still be on guard heading into the game. It’s a county rivalry game and anything can happen in a rivalry game.

That being said, two strong performances from Powell and Bell should give the Lady Knights’ basketball team an extra confidence boost.

After tonight, Vanguard will travel to city rival Forest for another big district game.