Freshman Rachel Briere continued her sensational first-year campaign with 12 points to lead Steinbrenner over Sickles. Courtesy of Steinbrenner Basketball (File)

CITRUS PARK – In the first ever meeting  between northwestern Hillsborough County’s top girls basketball programs, Steinbrenner held on to a late lead to top school rival Sickles, 61-52.

The Warriors (13-2) offense fired off 37 first half points to surprise the Gryphons (13-5) and push them into a huge hole by halftime. However the second half wasn’t as smooth for Steinbrenner, as Sickles managed to adjust to the offensive attack and by the fourth quarter, the lead had evaporated to a mere 15 points.

But junior Baylee Hooker and freshman Rachel Briere wouldn’t let the Warriors blow their shot at the win and combined to lead the offense with 33 points.

Sickles finished a perfect 15 for 15 on free throws and five for five from the three point line.

Steinbrenner will travel to Wiregrass Ranch on Friday for the final regular season district match-up against the Bulls until the Class 7A-District 7 tournament next month.

Jeff Odom / Sports Editor

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