ST. PETERSBURG — Despite missing two starters Friday, one because of injury and the other on vacation for the holiday, St. Petersburg Catholic was able to squeak out a 45-40 victory against Gibbs on the first night of the Lady Barons Thanksgiving Classic.
Both teams were off to a slow start as the Barons held a 9-6 lead at the end of the first quarter. From there both teams struggled with turnovers.
“Some of our decisions were not the best,” St. Petersburg Catholic coach Nick Vandewalle said. “We’ve got play better than we played tonight because we are capable of playing better than that.”
Gibbs did not have an answer for St. Petersburg Catholic’s Annie Artise. When Artise wasn’t drilling wide-open 3-pointers, she was driving to the basket and getting fouled. She went 8-for-11 from the free-throw line. Artise finished with a game-high 25 points and also had seven rebounds.
The Barons went into the locker room up 24-19 and came out firing in the second half. Junior Stephanie Lynch added nine points to go along with four assists, all of which went to Artise. Olivia Keegan was consistently on boards for the Barons as she finished with a game-high nine rebounds.
“We played really hard. Our heart and our grit really pulled it out for us tonight,” said Vandewalle.
St. Petersburg Catholic went into the fourth quarter up 37-29, but Gibbs would not go away quietly. Midway through the quarter Gladiators forward Jessica Takdari fouled out.
Sophomore guard Bria Bostick cut St. Petersburg Catholic’s lead to five when she made both free throws with four minutes remaining, but that was as close as Gibbs would get.
Bostick led the Gladiators with 14 points.
Riverview beat Boca Ciega 53-47 in the first game.