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ST. PETERSBURG — Lakewood seized control of a tight game in the final minutes Wednesday to beat St. Petersburg 57-53 and clinch the south in the Pinellas County Athletic Conference.
The Spartans will host Clearwater in the conference championship game Friday night. It will follow the Lakewood girls district final and likely will tip off around 8:30.
At the start of the second half, the Spartans (18-6) appeared to have taken control and built a 10-point lead. But the Green Devils, led by Gabe Moton (game-high 20 points) came roaring back. A 3-pointer by Allen Wilson at the end of the third quarter cut the deficit to two. Another 3-pointer in the final two minutes of regulation tied the game.
Then Lakewood’s Mike Singleton came up with a series of big plays. He scored on a short jumper, then got a steal at the other end. After he was fouled, he converted his free throws to make it a two-possession game.
St. Petersburg (18-6) never scored after that.
“We’ve had trouble finishing games and it looked like we might be in trouble again,” Spartans coach Dan Wright said. “But the guys showed a lot of heart, hung in there and took control of the game.”