ST. PETERSBURG — Being the smaller team is nothing new for Largo.
“We’re always undersized,” Packers coach Kristopher Foote said.
To compensate, Largo has to outhustle the opposition, which is how the Packers defeated a taller Gibbs squad 49-39 Thursday night. Although Largo (7-4) was at times shaky on offense, its defensive intensity frustrated Gibbs, leading to numerous turnovers and several fastbreak opportunities.
“We get our points off our defense,” senior Brandi Feazell said.
Feazell, a quick and athletic forward, was the primary beneficiary of Largo’s stout defensive effort, finishing with a game-high 21 points, six during a third quarter in which the Packers outscored Gibbs 17-4 and effectively put the game away.
“Our coach kept preaching teamwork,” Feazell said.
Using its height advantage early, Gibbs (3-4) led most of the first half. But while Shineice Beamon and Mikayla Sampson scored 14 each, they had little help.
Two Beamon free throws put Gibbs ahead 18-16 with 2:24 left in the opening half. But the Gladiators scored only four over the next 10 minutes of game time. During that period, Largo put 21 on the board.
“It all started with defense,” Foote said.
Feazell had the hot hand but others contributed. Freshman guard Brianna Kirkland contributed 10 points while senior guard Kendra Brown added eight.
“This was one of our better wins,” Foote said. “We can build off this.”