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ST. PETERSBURG — It was supposed to be a matchup of prolific scorers, Boca Ciega’s Tamara Taylor and St. Petersburg’s Kamika Idom.
That never materialized.
Taylor put up shots at will, leading her team with 37 points. Idom had just one field goal and finished with 17.
But it was Idom and her Green Devils teammates who had the better result Wednesday with a 58-49 win over their south county rival.
St. Petersburg (2-0) beat the Pirates for the first time in years by distributing the ball. That showed as the Green Devils’ Teyia Brown (15 points) and Ta’Nia McCullum (10) joined Idom in double figures.
“We needed to get other players involved besides Kamika,” St. Petersburg coach Tamika Coley said. “Other teams are going to key on Kamika so they had to take the initiative and think to score.”
The Pirates, behind the play of Taylor, took control in building a 13-8 lead after the first quarter and a 23-15 lead at the half.
But the Green Devils’ balanced attack started paying dividends in the third when they outscored Boca Ciega 19-10 to go up for the first time, 34-33.
Taylor kept the Pirates in the game by hitting two clutch 3-pointers and knocking down all four of her free throws in the fourth quarter.
But it wasn’t enough as Boca Ciega was unable to keep Idom from getting to the line. Idom, who went 14-for-20 at the line, hit six of her final seven free throws down the stretch.
The turning point came in the final minute when the Pirates were called for consecutive technical fouls. The Green Devils hit four of those five free throws to turn a two-point lead into a comfortable 55-49 margin.
“It wasn’t pretty,” Coley said. “We need to make more free throws and attack even more. But we’ll take it. It’s been a while since St. Petersburg has beaten Boca Ciega.”