GULFPORT — Longtime Boca Ciega coach Randy Shuman had a simple explanation for his team’s run-n-gun, come-from-behind 82-80 overtime thriller against Lakewood on Tuesday.
“That’s Lakewood-Bogie,” Shuman said. “When these two teams play each other, that’s pretty much what you get.”
What players and fans got was a Class 5A, District 12 classic that featured big individual efforts from both teams. Boca Ciega forward Michael Clark led the way with 25 points, including the first four points in overtime to give the Pirates the edge.
Teammate David White had 23 points, including the game-tying 3-pointer with 40 seconds left in regulation. And Dallas Moore scored an acrobatic 23.
“He’s a heckuva dude,” Lakewood coach Anthony Lawrence said of Moore.
Lakewood matched the Pirates with 25 points from Jared Gregory. Shabazz Waller added 23 before fouling out with 1:09 left in regulation. And Anthony Lawrence Jr. scored 16, most of which came in the third quarter, before fouling out with 2:24 left in the fourth.
With Lawrence in foul trouble for much of the first half, Boca Ciega (13-2) was able to hang around and led 31-30 at the break. Then things really got interesting.
Midway through the third quarter the Pirates held a 41-36 lead after a Clark shot and foul for a three-point play. Then the Spartans shifted into high gear.
Gregory scored on a short jumper, Waller added two lay-ins and Lawrence hit a free throw to give Lakewood a 43-41 lead. After a Clark dunk tied the game, Lakewood went on a 10-0 run led by Lawrence, who made four straight baskets and also had three blocks.
“Being down 10 doesn’t really bother us,” Shuman said. “We’ve been down before. Every night it seems like we waste a quarter. But I guess it’s good that there’s hardly any lead that we can’t come back from.”
Down 60-50 with four minutes left, Boca Ciega chipped away thanks to cold Lakewood shooting and big baskets from Joe Lampley, Moore and Clark. And when Lawrence and Waller fouled out, the Pirates were able to get easy baskets inside.
Two White free throws cut the lead to 70-67 with a minute left. On the next possession, White nailed a 3-pointer to tie. Lakewood (12-5) was not able to get off another shot, and Moore’s fallaway shot at the buzzer bounced off the rim.
“We just needed to stay calm and work on getting the lead back,” Clark said. “We needed to go at Anthony. And then when he fouled out, we really needed that. We could start going right at them.”
In overtime the Pirates scored the first six points. The lead grew to 82-74 after free throws from Moore and Rashawn Jones before Gregory hit a late 3-pointer and a basket at the buzzer.
“What it came down to was us not being able to put the ball in the basket,” coach Lawrence said. “We took errant shots we shouldn’t have taken. We got to the lane, but we couldn’t make the shots.”