ST. PETERSBURG — Six years ago, Jeremy Crane was hired at Osceola, inheriting a team that was in the midst of a 39-game losing streak. Crane turned the once downtrodden program into a viable one with four straight seasons of double-digits in wins.
The expectations are now higher. The Warriors are not content being competitive. They believe they can contend for a playoff berth.
So it was unsettling for Osceola to find itself trailing host Northside Christian by four at the half in Tuesday’s nondistrict game.
The Warriors regained their composure, dialed up the pressure and quickly erased the deficit to win 51-41.
“We were a little hesitant, a little stagnant in the first half,” Crane said. “By the third quarter we started playing a faster level than (Northside) is used to, and our fullcourt press helped us create some turnovers.”
Cotye Curry played a pivotal role in the comeback, scoring 10 of his team-high 21 in the third quarter. The Mustangs withered under the pressure, finishing with 30 turnovers.
“I’m happy with the way we were fighting through things and getting into more of a rhythm in the second half,” Crane said.
Largo 80, Countryside 32: The Packers started their season with a rout over the rebuilding Cougars.
Andrew Murphy scored 19 and Donavan Hale added 11 to lead Largo. A running clock was used in the fourth quarter.
“It was a good start,” Packers coach Phil Price said. “We got up big and everybody got to play. The only thing we didn’t do well was shoot, but we’re always like that.”
Calvary Christian 85, Northeast 84 (3OT): Paxton Wilson hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer in the third overtime to lead the host Warriors to a nondistrict win.
Wilson, who finished with 15 points, was among four freshmen who accounted for 65 of Calvary’s 85 points. Northeast’s Keith Harrington and Eric Pederson each finished with 28.