Lakewood Ranch High junior shooting guard Emily Bulfin drilled nine 3-pointers to set a new school record and propel the Lady Mustangs to a 66-36 victory over Manatee Jan. 25. She finished the game with career-high 35 points.
“I was pretty surprised,” Bulfin says of the accomplishment. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing. I wish I could play like that every game.”
Bulfin followed her record-setting performance with 20 points to lead the Lady Mustangs to a 61-47 victory over Dixie Hollins, in the Class 6A-Distirct 12 semifinals Jan. 30.
Bulfin’s hot hand continued in the district championship Feb. 1, where she scored 13 points to lead Lakewood to a 37-32 victory over Palmetto and its first girls basketball district title in school history.
“We’ve been working really hard since the summer up to this point, so it (means) a lot,” Bulfin says.
Bulfin, who has been playing basketball for as long as she can remember, also plays travel basketball for Next Level Hoops under the direction of Lakewood coach Tina Hadley.
“I like the competitiveness of it and the physical aspect of it,” Bulfin says.
"I’m really happy to be a Mustang. I wouldn’t want to be a part of any other team. I also really like
coach Tina (Hadley).
By the time I graduate, it would be nice to win states, and it would be cool to score 1,000 points. The toughest part about basketball is remembering what you’re supposed to be doing at all times during
the game. Basketball is really mental. You have to be smart and on top of things. There’s a lot to remember.
I’ve always been a shooter. It’s a natural talent.
It’s never been hard for me.
My parents say when I was 2 years old I would shoot at a plastic basketball hoop and make (shots)."
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Food and fun
The Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance and its Young Leaders Alliance have something to talk about: the organizations collected 764 pounds of nonperishable food and $1,295 cash to benefit The Food Bank of Manatee/Meals on Wheels PLUS.
River Club’s Cheryl Kaufman says she’s still pinching herself.
A little “Ho! Ho! Ho!” can go a long way this holiday season.