SEMINOLE — St. Petersburg’s hopes of winning the Class 7A, District 10 boys basketball title bobbed between negligible and nonexistent late Friday night against Seminole.
Once the Green Devils’ reached their desperation point, however, things began to click for them.
St. Petersburg’s comeback manifested itself in an unfamiliar but welcome form, with Devann Owens racing across the court through a screen, and the net swallowing his 3-point shot.
The Green Devils and the Warhawks have had an affection for the dramatics this season and Friday’s game was no exception. Owens’ shot with 1.5 seconds remaining in the game helped St. Petersburg erase a two-point deficit in the final 13 seconds and beat Seminole 46-44.
The Green Devils won all three games against the Warhawks by a combined eight points.
“It’s always a tough game that goes down to the wire whenever we play Seminole,” St. Petersburg coach Chris Blackwell said. “I was pleased with the way we were able to handle adversity by coming back and winning with a hostile crowd.”
With 1:40 left in regulation, the Green Devils held a 43-40 lead. The Warhawks rallied as Matt Cassity hit a layup, drew a foul and swished a free throw to complete a three-point play that tied the score. After Seminole forced a turnover, Noah Weller went to the line with 13.7 seconds remaining. He hit one of his two free throws to give the Warhawks a 44-43 lead.
St. Petersburg got the ball past halfcourt before calling timeout with 4.1 seconds to go. Blackwell wanted to lob the ball inside to forward David Jones on the last play. If that was not available, the second option was to get the ball to Owens.
“It was do or die at that point,” Owens said. “I got the ball and the defender gave me just a little bit of room and that’s all I needed to hit it. I knew it was going in.”
Demontrae Adams led the Green Devils with 20 points. Weller scored a team-high 16 for Seminole.