PINELLAS PARK — Corey Edwards stepped back and swished a 3-pointer on his first shot Tuesday to eclipse the 1,000-point plateau in his career.
It seemed like things would go right for Pinellas Park the rest of the night. The Patriots created turnovers and were efficient from the perimeter. They led through the first three quarters against Seminole.
Then came the fourth quarter.
The Warhawks tandem of Noah Weller and Jarron King came through on a 10-0 run that helped them win 66-60.
“We didn’t play our best game, but we just kept grinding,” Seminole coach Josh Walker said.
Led by the outside shooting of Nic Preradovic (20 points) and the inside presence of Iman Smith (10 points, seven rebounds), the Patriots led by as many as eight points twice in the first three quarters.
But Seminole (5-2) kept chipping away until the lead was down to 42-41 at the end of the third quarter.
King hit a short jumper to start the fourth to put the Warhawks ahead 43-42, a lead they would not relinquish. Weller and King continued to wreak havoc with their rebounding and clutch shooting.
Weller finished with 24 points and 17 rebounds. King added 13 points and 14 rebounds. Seminole outrebounded Pinellas Park 44-30 and had 10 second-chance points.
“We don’t have a true big man, but we have some guards who are versatile and do a lot of things,” Walker said.
The Warhawks have gotten off to a quick start with their only losses coming by 12 points to Tampa Prep and by four in overtime to St. Petersburg.
“I think the guys believed that we could start the season this way,” Walker said. “The most encouraging thing is we didn’t have our greatest game and we were still able to come away with a win.”
For the Patriots, the loss had a familiar pattern. Pinellas Park (2-4) has held sizable leads against St. Petersburg, Gibbs and the Warhawks only to lose in the fourth quarter.
“We’re a good team for three quarters,” Patriots coach Jon Cabino said. “We just have to find a way to keep our composure and maintain a lead in the fourth.”
Hall of Fame: Two weeks ago, Pinellas Park hosted its second annual Hall of Fame game. This year’s inductees were Dave Mauger (wrestling coach), Eddie Jackson (girls basketball coach), Tom Schoenau (boys basketball coach), Browning Nagle (football) and Ray Shuchart (basketball).