4A region basketball: Blake 60, Lakewood Ranch 57

TAMPA — For 31/2 quarters Thursday, Blake was outshot, outexecuted and downright outplayed.

But in a wild finish, it was Lakewood Ranch that ended up out the door with a loss.

Blake's Andre Smith capped an 11-0 run with three free throws with 6.4 seconds left to knock off the Mustangs 60-57.

Blake coach Winston Davis wasn't shocked his team didn't have its best game.

"We've made it a problem that we don't play well in the first half," Davis said. "We didn't look good at all in practice (Wednesday) and it showed up tonight.

"But even at the end we didn't panic. We are an experienced team and that helped us."

Blake (26-2) trailed 57-49 with just more than a minute to go and looked about out of options.

That's when the diminutive Joe Morris knocked down a big corner 3-pointer. After a free throw by Brandon Channer and a layup by Xavier Alston, Lakewood Ranch's lead was 57-55.

Smith, who finished with a game-high 27 points, stole the inbounds pass but was called for a travel. After getting the ball right back, Alton tied the game on a putback.

With the score tied at 57, Lakewood Ranch (20-9) had what looked to be an easy layup.

Alston, the lone Yellow Jacket back on the play, jumped in front of a pass and grabbed the ball. After a timeout, Blake got the ball in Smith's hands.

4A region basketball: Blake 60, Lakewood Ranch 57 02/17/11 [Last modified: Friday, February 18, 2011 12:19am]

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