Taliah Scott has the inside track on Florida's scoring championship.
Now, just how high will her numbers grow?
The St. Johns Country Day junior guard is chasing the nation's scoring leaders as the Spartans' girls basketball season approaches the district tournament in two weeks.
Scott has tallied 420 points in 13 games for a 32.3-point average, good for sixth in the national MaxPreps rankings. The national leader is junior guard Jocelyn Medina of Arbuckle (Calif.) Pierce, who is averaging 38.9 points so far.
After scoring 33 points against University Christian and 31 against Gainesville Buchholz in the past week, Scott also holds the edge in the state points race, ahead of Tampa Prep's Arianna Mosley (30.7), Winter Haven All Saints' Sara Williams (28.7) and Lantana Santaluces' Kendra Bentley (28.3). And among players shooting more than 50 free throws, she's far and away Florida's leader, scoring at 89 percent.
Gomes enters county record books
Add one more record to the list of career achievements for Nease's Sydney Gomes.
On Friday night, the senior guard entered the record books as the highest-scoring player ever to represent a St. Johns County girls basketball program, scoring 20 points in the Panthers' 81-30 win over Tocoi Creek.
Gomes now has 2,260 points for her high school career: 950 in one and a half seasons at Nease together with 1,310 points from her first two seasons at New Dorp on Staten Island in New York.
She's averaging 21.3 points on the season, including three consecutive games with 30 or more against Palm Bay Heritage, Columbia and Ponte Vedra.
Still intact, however, is the all-time county record for points scored entirely with a St. Johns County school. That belongs to Ponte Vedra's Megan Piggott, who tallied 2,254 points for the Sharks between 2011 and 2015.
More notes from the stat columns:
Bishop Kenny senior guard Maddie Millar surpassed 1,500 career points in Thursday's win over Bolles. Millar, who sank seven more 3-pointers Tuesday night against University Christian, is now up to 385 threes for her career — enough to break into the all-time top 20 in the statistics of the National Federation of State High School Associations.
St. Augustine guard Emily McIntosh ranks sixth in Florida with 7.1 assists per game.
Mandarin's Antonio Mancinotti and St. Augustine's Diego Barrera, with 29 goals apiece, are tied for fourth in scoring for Florida boys soccer.
St. Joseph senior Maggie Tibbitts, with 22 assists on the season, is currently tied for second in the state.
Finally, the scoring exploits carry on for Keystone Heights' Kiersten Shaw. She leads Florida girls soccer with 47 goals, raising her career total to 114, and she currently tops the nationwide MaxPreps list among states playing winter soccer.
Boys basketball Power Poll: Paxon on the rise
Girls basketball Power Poll: Milestone for Nease, BK stars
Mustangs carry the load
The Mandarin girls weightlifting dynasty carried on, winning its eighth consecutive Gateway Conference championship on Thursday at its home gym.
The Mustangs have won every Gateway title since 2014-15.
Mandarin particularly dominated the medium weight classes, with multiple point scorers in every class from 129 pounds to 183. They finished with 49 points, ahead of runner-up White at 34 and third-place Paxon at 31.
Only two Gateway competitions remain this winter: Boys basketball tips off Monday, Jan. 24 for a weeklong contest of hoops, followed by the Gateway wrestling tournament on Jan. 28-29 at Fletcher. Jackson holds three of the last four boys hoops championships, while Fletcher owns four of the last five Gateway wrestling trophies.
Boys soccer Power Poll: Mandarin wins, Ponte Vedra rises
Girls soccer Power Poll: Bartram Trail, St. Johns add wins
Super shot for Senators senior
Falling backward, with opponents all around him, Seth Allen could barely see where he was shooting.
But the Fletcher senior was on target, and that's all that mattered for the Senators in one of the most thrilling boys basketball contests of the year, a 44-43 victory in double overtime over Riverside.
With the Senators trailing, Allen scooped up the loose ball after Fletcher's leading scorer Lajae Jones ran into traffic in the lane, and hit a near-blind shot while being fouled. The result: a game-winner with 2.6 seconds left in the second OT.
The visiting Generals had been ranked No. 1 in Class 5A for the Florida High School Athletic Association.
Dramatic game-winners have become a tradition in recent years for the Senators. All-First Coast guard Zyhir Sims sank numerous clutch baskets during his Fletcher career, and in 2019, Senators guard Sean Benfield hit an 80-footer at the buzzer to stun Parker and force overtime in an eventual victory.
Lacrosse tournament schedule set
The countdown is on for another round of lacrosse on the St. Johns.
The Rivalry on the River is set to return, this time at a new home.
The annual lacrosse tournament is scheduled to welcome 18 teams to its second edition this spring between March 24-26 at Bolles' Skinner-Barco Stadium, after being held in Episcopal for its inaugural year.
The schedule begins March 24 with Creekside vs. Bolles (girls) and Nease vs. St. Augustine (boys). March 25 has a pair of boys games, Providence-Episcopal and Bartram Trail-Fleming Island.
The slate ends with a quintupleheader: Mandarin-Atlantic Coast girls, Bartram Trail-Ponte Vedra girls, Menendez-Episcopal girls, Bolles-Tallahassee Maclay boys and Creekside-Ponte Vedra boys.
No. 300 for BK's Buckley
Maybe it was the extra winning tradition inside the John A. Baldwin Athletic Center.
With a past generation of Crusaders greats looking on, Bishop Kenny boys basketball coach Jerry Buckley joined the 300-win club in Friday night's 55-53 victory against Bolles.
Clutch shooting from the free throw line helped the Crusaders wrap up the victory.
Buckley's milestone came on a day of celebration as Bishop Kenny recognized the players from the 1989-90, 1990-91 and 1991-92 teams that became Jacksonville's first-ever back-to-back girls basketball state champions — a feat subsequently accomplished multiple times by Ribault under Al Austin and Shelia Seymore-Pennick.
Weekly trivia challenge
It's time for the latest edition of the First Coast Varsity Weekly trivia section, a look back through the history of high school sports all around the area.
This week's topic: The Three P's. These aren't pets, plants and pipes - instead, all answers begin with the letter P. Answers will appear in next week's First Coast Varsity Weekly.
1. Against which school did Corky Rogers earn his final regular-season football victory at Bolles?
2. What is the only Jacksonville program to win an FHSAA team championship in girls golf?
3. Which player received Jacksonville's first-ever McDonald's All-American selection?
Answer to last week's questions
1. Providence graduate Grayson Allen is the most recent national champion in NCAA Division I men's basketball from Northeast Florida, winning the 2015 NCAA Tournament with Duke in 2015.
2. Creekside graduate Leslie Farris is the most recent Northeast Florida player to compete for a national Division I champion in softball, playing for Florida State in the 2018 finals against Washington.
3. Trinity Christian graduate Austin Martin is the area's most recent NCAA Division I baseball champion, lining up at third base for Vanderbilt in the 2019 College World Series.
Around the area
Orange Park senior Josiah Sabino set the Raiders' career boys basketball scoring record, raising his total to 1,263 points. ... Florida Deaf freshman Kayla Debrow set a Dragons single-game girls basketball record with 18 blocks Tuesday in a 53-50 win over Menendez, surpassing Jazmin Washington's mark of 16 from December 2013. ... Orange Park tight end Maliek Carter committed to Lake Erie football. ... Former Bishop Snyder guard Justin Hicks, currently at Utah State East, committed to transfer to Edward Waters men's basketball. ... West Nassau offensive lineman Wyatt Butler committed to Warner football. ... Middleburg offensive lineman Tanner Peery committed to Concord football. ... Former Trinity Christian linebacker C.J. Lockett announced his transfer to Coffeyville Community College football. ... Mandarin safety Victor Winston committed to Muskingum football. ... Bolles midfielder Shep Mitchell committed to Queens University of Charlotte for men's lacrosse. ... FHSAA Region 1 cheerleading championships, which include most of Northeast Florida, are scheduled for Friday at West Nassau. The Region 2 championships, which include St. Johns County, will be Saturday at Bishop Moore in Orlando. ... Almost time to play ball: Practice begins Monday for baseball, softball and lacrosse.
Clayton Freeman covers high school sports and more for the Florida Times-Union. Follow him on Twitter at @CFreemanJAX.
This article originally appeared on Florida Times-Union: First Coast Varsity Weekly: Taliah Scott leads Florida basketball scoring