ST. PETERSBURG — Early in the third quarter of Friday night’s Class 8A, District 8 game, St. Petersburg clawed back from a large deficit to take a two-point lead. Palm Harbor University called timeout to regroup and remotivate.
“We wanted to show the county who’s boss,” junior center Megan Ingram said. “That was our motivation at that point. We wanted to keep going and make sure we came back after their run.”
PHU went on a 12-2 run after the timeout and never looked back in a 62-49 win. Ingram led all scorers with 22 points. Chardonay Aldrich chipped in with 14 and Amber Jennings added 11. The Hurricanes (11-0) take the outright lead in the district.
From the opening tip it was apparent this would be a highpaced, fast-break game. PHU took a 9-4 lead after Kaylin Ingram nailed a 3-pointer. It was 20-9 after the first quarter and midway through the second PHU had a 24-17 lead.
But a Lazasha Baskins 5-footer and layup on a steal cut the lead to 27-25 with just over a minute to play. By halftime, the Green Devils only trailed 31-27.
“We had too many turnovers in the second quarter and let them back into it,” Hurricanes coach Darian Dublin said. “How are you going to win if you keep making turnovers? I just told them to protect the ball.”
St. Petersburg (10-1) scored the first six points of the third quarter to take a 33-31 lead, its first since 2-0. Simone Wilson had two layups during the run. But after a timeout, PHU rattled off nine straight points, including a three-point play and a layup by Jennings.
It was 46-39 at the end of the third. PHU then went on an 8-2 run to start the fourth and basically ice the game. St. Petersburg was unable to chip away, and in the final four minutes PHU passed the ball and made free throws to secure the win.
“We gave up too many transition baskets,” St. Pete coach Tamika Coley said. “I don’t know if we were just ball watching or what, but you can’t do that against a team like this. And then for whatever reason our shots wouldn’t fall. You’re going to have nights like that, which is why you have to play defense.”
The Green Devils were led by Baskins’ 13 points. Wilson had 12 and Michael LaShon Everhart 11.