District girls basketball: Countryside 57, Palm Harbor University 47
ST. PETERSBURG — November Morton had 24 points and Alexis Taglieri added 21 to lead Countryside to a 57-47 win against Palm Harbor University in the Class 8A-10 district championship game at St. Petersburg High.
The Cougars (15-6) went on a 14-1 run in the fourth quarter to turn a tight game into a 50-36 lead before surviving a mad rally from the Hurricanes in the final two minutes.
"Those two have carried us all season," Cougars coach Anthony Klemmer said. "We knew we had this sort of game in us. The first time we played PHU we were without two starters and the second time we had just gotten those two back. But I knew once we were all together again we could pull this off."
Nicole Nanos hit a baseline jumper to pull Palm Harbor U. (20-8) to within 36-35 but Countryside responded with 3-pointers from Morton and Taglieri and an inside basket from Delanie Gibbons to push the Cougar lead to 46-36 with 3:41 remaining.
Morton hit two more baskets to make the score 50-36 but Julia Ingram got a three-point play to start Palm Harbor U.'s push back.
Ingram nailed three more baskets to make the score 50-45 but Taglieri responded with two free throws. Kayli Hoummard had an open look at a 3-pointer that rimmed out, and Taglieri and Morton closed out the game at the line.
"Ingram is probably the best player in the county and that's a veteran team so we expected them to make it tough," Klemmer said. "But we settled down and got some great defense from Allyssa Barnes in those final sequences."
Ingram finished with 25 points for the Hurricanes, who led 22-18 at halftime.