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5A-10 district basketball: Blake takes OT thriller, will face Hillsborough

TAMPA — It took longer than it initially appeared it would but Blake is moving on to the Class 5A, District 10 championship game.

The Yellow Jackets went through a range of emotions Friday, first setting the stage for a blowout, then suffering a huge collapse before late-game heroics and a decisive extra frame earned them a win.

When it was all over, Blake had outlasted Plant for a wild 82-74 win in overtime. Hillsborough topped Chamberlain 55-51 in the other semifinal.

Blake's win seemed guaranteed in the first half, especially as the sharp-shooting Yellow Jackets (20-6) jumped out to a 10-0 lead.

With Blake's Andre Smith and Plant's Sheldon Cooley virtually trading shot for shot, Blake's margin was maintained into the second half. Blake owned a 12-point lead with a minute left in the third period.

But things quickly changed.

In a span of a little more than six minutes, Cooley scored six and Michael Frazier added six also to spark Plant (15-9) to a 22-10 run that tied the game at 56. From that point, the teams battled back and forth until a Plant steal and Cooley layup gave Plant a 68-65 lead and, seemingly, the game.

But Smith hit a 3-pointer from just inside half court with 2.9 second on the clock to send the contest to an extra period and rejuvenate the Yellow Jackets. Blake outscored Plant 14-6 in the overtime period to claim the win.

Smith, who hit five 3-pointers, scored 33 to lead Blake. Cooley led Plant with 32 points while Frazier added 18 and Kingston Bems scored nine.

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5A-10 district basketball: Blake takes OT thriller, will face Hillsborough 02/13/09 [Last modified: Friday, February 13, 2009 11:54pm]
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