Tag Archive | "Portia Williams"

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Bucks looking strong under new coach

Posted on 25 January 2018 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

The Deerfield Beach High School girls basketball team looks poised to make a deep run in the playoffs this season under new coach Tami Vaughn.

She has also coached at Boyd Anderson, Pompano Beach, Northeast and was an assistant at Florida Atlantic University (2006-07). She also played overseas in Europe (England, Spain and Ireland).

They are very disciplined and work together as a team,” said Vaughn, who still has former coach Portia Williams on the staff. Williams stepped down from her head coaching duties due to health issues.

I enjoy coaching this group of girls. We are trying to rebuild the tradition here,” said Vaughn, whose fiancé is Jevon Glenn, the varsity football coach. “We also have Shuteamia Brayboy on the staff and she won state here. She is able to tell the girls what it means to be a Lady Buck and coach Williams is still here. The tradition is big here with girls basketball and I am very honored to be a part of it.

I was an assistant for three years and this is my first year as head coach,” Vaughn said. “We have everyone back from last year.”

One of the returners is sophomore guard DenAsia Mitchell, who tore her anterior cruciate ligament at the end of the last season and has helped the team get off to an 18-2 start, including key wins over District rival Douglas High School.

Losing her last year was very tough because we had some high expectations,” Vaughn said. “With her going out with the ACL, it put a damper on things. This year, with her back, we are on a roll. We are excited.”

Vaughn said they play more as a team this year and they have been listening more.

I think we can make a run for it if everybody stays healthy and we are praying that everybody stays healthy,” Vaughn said. “We need to play in bubble wrap. Beating Douglas this year shows they are ready and they are focused. Everything we have been doing is helping us for down the road.”

Vaughn said Ashley Shell and Mitchell have been two of the catalysts this season and said a pleasant surprise has been freshman Aaliyah Reid.

She’s been a rebounding machine,” Vaughn said.

Altieri takes fourth at nationals

Deerfield Beach’s Lucas Altieri, a member of the Florida Panthers Figure Skating Club, recently took fourth in the Novice Men’s Division at the 2018 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating National competition in San Jose, Calif. Altieri, 16, a North Broward Prep School sophomore, had hoped for a first place finish. He was fifth last year.

I skated my best so I am happy with it,” Altieri said. “When I first started, I wanted to be a speed skater and there is not much of that in Florida, so the coaches told me to try figure (skating) and I really liked it.

On the ice, I love it when I am skating really fast and it is fun when you are landing all of your jumps really well and you know everyone is watching you,” he said. “It is awesome. When you fall, you just get back up. I do get really frustrated, but I try and think that if I reach my goals, it will be worth it. If not, I will have other chances to do well.”

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Bucks hoping for good news

Posted on 05 January 2017 by LeslieM

sports010517By Gary Curreri

What started out as a promising season for the Deerfield Beach High School girls basketball team could have turned sour following an injury to a key player.

Sophomore 5-ft., 6-in. shooting guard DenAsia Mitchell came down wrong on her knee during practice last week and Bucks coach Portia Williams fears the worst.

The Bucks got out of the gate at 14-2 with losses coming to Flanagan, 38-31, and South Broward, 56-44, and owned a 65-57 victory over district rival Douglas. The team also won all three of their games in a tournament in Atlanta.

After opening its own Deerfield Blitz Holiday tournament with wins over Piper and Cooper City, disaster struck in the practice leading up to the title game against Douglas.

At this time we don’t know,” Williams said. “It was just a freak accident at practice. She was going up for a loose ball and just came down wrong on it. She has to get some tests run. She is getting an MRI (this week).

We have the capabilities and that shouldn’t have stopped us from what we need to do,” Williams said after the Eagles (18-1) jumped out to a 30-10 halftime lead and coasted to a 63-42 victory over the host Bucks in the championship game.

We have to regroup and go over some things that were a problem.”

Williams said the team needed to do several things better, including rebounding, boxing out better on defense and running their offense. It hurt not having Mitchell, who was averaging nearly 20 points per game. The team also gave up a lot of baskets on fast breaks and in transition and allowed 22 offensive rebounds to Douglas.

We knew she was out, but we didn’t execute,” Williams said. “We didn’t come out to play and that was the bottom line. We talked to the girls and told them we have to get back to the basics and regroup from there.

We have to get ready for the second half of the season,” added Williams, who has been coaching for nearly two decades at Deerfield Beach. “We have some things to fix and we have to continue to work hard.”

Williams said the team is more of a family this year and has survived the “tough times.”

We may get down on one another, but then we pick each other up,” she said. “I think there are some things that we can do. Even though it is a Christmas tournament, we did well on the road in Atlanta, and now we just have to regroup.”

Williams wasn’t surprised with the start to the season and also cited sophomore guard Kayla Burrows and senior guard G’Torria Swinton for their play this season.

We saw them play really well at a camp this summer and they haven’t played their best yet this season,” Williams said. “We have to learn to stay focused. Some of them still have maturity problems, and we need to be able to take toughness and that will have to start with our seniors.”

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Bucks fall in regional semifinals

Posted on 17 March 2016 by LeslieM

sports031716By Gary Curreri

Although it wasn’t the storybook ending Deerfield Beach High School girls basketball coach Portia Williams had hoped for, it was a step in the right direction.

Host Boca Raton (26-7) jumped out to an early 13-2 lead and cruised to a 71-47 win over Deerfield Beach (25-7) at home in a Class 8A regional final game. The Bobcats went on to fall to Vero Beach, 77-68, in overtime in the state championship contest.

The Bucks got an unexpected boost from 5 ft., 5 in. freshman guard DenAsia Mitchell, who averaged 10.4 points, 4.3 assists, 3.3 rebounds and 4 steals a game. Mitchell believed she had an opportunity to have a featured role this season after finishing up her middle school career at Carver Middle School in Delray Beach.

It was a good season and it was good for my first full year,” Mitchell said. “It is a lot of pressure because I was a freshman and a co-captain. It is a big learning curve for me if I want to get better and go to college.”

Deerfield Beach coach Portia Williams was pleased with her team’s effort this season.

This was a group of young energetic girls that were trying to gel day by day,” said Williams, who was in her 15th season as a coach. “They worked hard and I just had to try and keep them focused. It is a talented group of girls.

As a 9th grader and seeing a point guard with (Mitchell’s) skill set and knowing the game like her, I just haven’t seen that in a long time,” Williams added, “I was surprised. We told them all season to stay focused and take it game by game. We just have to continue to work on little fundamental things with them.”

Wilburn hired by Tigers

Blanche Ely has hired Carl Wilburn as its new football coach succeeding Nakia Jenkins, who resigned in January after two years with the program.

Wilburn, 51, who has coached 27 years in Broward County, has been a head coach at Northeast and Coconut Creek, in addition to serving as a defensive assistant at Miramar, Dillard and Blanche Ely.

Wilburn takes over a Tigers’ program that finished 2-9 under Jenkins and fell in the Class 7A regional quarterfinals. Blanche Ely has reached the postseason 16 of the last 18 seasons, highlighted by a Class 5A state championship in 2002.

There’s a lot of pride in that community,” Wilburn said. “I think that was the biggest thing to draw me. We have to work harder than anyone else.”

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