ST. PETERSBURG — Midway through the third quarter Tuesday, Indian Rocks Christian coach Phil Farver had all but given up on getting his 500th career win.
The Golden Eagles could not generate any offense. They were outscored 24-2 in the second quarter and managed just four points in the first four minutes of the third.
So Farver was ready to empty his bench.
Then Rachel Burnett scored off a layup. Then she hit a short jumper. Then Jesse Logemann.
Then Farver thought he had a chance.
Turns out, he did.
Farver got his milestone victory in dramatic fashion as the Golden Eagles made a furious rally in the second half to win 48-47. Tori Trador completed the comeback by swishing a 3-pointer with 59 seconds remaining.
“If you’re going to win your 500th game, it might as well come like that,” Farver said. “Of course, I’d rather win by 20 points and have it be a little more comfortable. But we’ll take it. The girls showed a lot to come back.”
IRC (20-3) trailed 28-14 at the half and was down by as much as 19 in the third quarter. Though they were cold from the outside, the Golden Eagles were able to stay in the game thanks to Burnett, who was effective around the basket. She scored 16 of her team-high 21 in the second half.
Still, IRC was behind 40-29 going into the fourth quarter.
“I told the girls I needed their best fourth quarter of the season,” Farver said. “And they gave it to me.”
Trador and Logemann each hit a pair of 3-pointers to ignite the comeback, including Trador’s winning shot that made it 48-46. The Barons had a chance to send the game into overtime when Annie Artise was fouled with 0.2 of a second remaining. But she hit only one of her free throws. Brittany Dunbar led SPC in scoring with 24 points.