Winter Haven makes history, wins third-straight state championship

By Spectrum Sports Staff,
Last Updated: Saturday, March 03, 2018

The Winter Haven Blue Devils have done what no other public school in the Bay Area has ever done. With their 56-45 win over Nova in the 8A Championship, the Lady Blue Devils captured their third-straight state title.

The trademark pressure defense of Winter Haven helped spark the Blue Devils to a big second quarter. Trailing by two after one quarter, Winter Haven ratcheted up the pressure and outscored the Titans 15-5 to take an eight-point halftime lead.

The dynamic duo of Diamond Battles and Zakiyah Franklin in the backcourt paced the Blue Devils. Battles, who has signed with UCF, scored 17 points, while Franklin, considered one of the best junior guards in the nation, had a team-high 20 points.

The Blue Devils join the Clearwater Central Catholic Marauders as the only Bay Area teams to win three consecutive titles, which CCC accomplished from 1978-80. Winter Haven also broke a tie with CCC and Southeast for most state championships for a girls basketball program in the Bay Area, as the Blue Devils took home their fifth state title.