LARGO — Blessed with a team of tremendous athletes, Largo has the all pieces in place to run its freewheeling offense to perfection.
There are breakaway layups, alley-oop dunks and enough other spectacular plays to fill a highlight reel.
But what leaves opponents wheezing is the speed in which the Packers are able to do these things. Everything moves a little faster with the defending conference champions, from shots to steals to slick passes.
It was that frenetic pace that left Seminole playing catchup throughout most of Tuesday’s game, which determined the team that would represent the North division in the Pinellas County Athletic Conference championship game.
Largo used that pace to its advantage, building a double-digit lead by the second quarter and maintaining it the rest of the way in a 58-47 win over the rival Warhawks.
The Packers (21-2) will travel to play Lakewood in Friday’s conference championship game.
“This was a well-fought game,” Largo coach Phil Price said. “We were able to go on just enough of a run early on in the game that turned out to be the difference.”
The pivotal point came at the start of the second quarter. Ahead 12-9, the Packers went on a 10-0 run to build a commanding 22-9 lead.
Momentum was halted midway through the quarter when the lights went out due to a blown transformer. Both teams went back into their locker rooms, and the game was delayed about 20 minutes until the lights came back on.
Seminole, thanks to the scoring of Marco Behori, chipped away at some of the deficit and trailed at the half 31-22. Behori finished the half with 16 points.
The third quarter was even with each team scoring 14.
Early in the fourth, the Warhawks pulled within 48-41. But Seminole missed a 3-pointer that would have made it a two-possession game. That was followed by a Donavan Hale layup to put the Packers ahead 50-41.
The Warhawks could not get any closer. Behori did the bulk of the scoring for Seminole, finishing with 30 points, including going 13-of-15 from the free-throw line.
Largo was more balanced with three players — Hale (18 points), Curtis Reed (14) and Brandon Jones (10) — each reaching double figures in scoring.
“We’re playing well right now,” Price said. “We’re distributing the ball well and getting everyone involved. The only thing we have to work on right now is our free throws.”
St. Petersburg 80, Shorecrest 74: The Green Devils continued their hot streak, cruising to a win over the host Chargers in a rare match public-private school matchup in the county.
Four players reached double figures in scoring for St. Petersburg, led by Dayon Griffin, who had 27. Tyee Johnson had a team-high 17 for Shorecrest.
Tarpon Springs 69, East Lake 59: The Spongers, thanks to a strong first half, knocked off their fiercest rival.
Tarpon Springs led at the half 38-22 and held on. Trai Halon had 26 points, including six 3-pointers, to lead the Spongers.
Bob Putnam can be reached at email@example.com.