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5A-12 boys basketball: Largo pulls off improbable comeback, faces Gibbs in final

GULFPORT — Largo coach Phil Price held his arms at his hips, folded them and gazed down at his bench. With his team down large and late, he signaled a timeout.

"I told the guys if they wanted to quit to let me know so I could someone to replace them," Price said.

The Packers trailed host Boca Ciega by 17 points in the fourth quarter in Friday's Class 5A, District 11 semifinals.

After the timeout, Largo rallied with a furious comeback, eventually sending the game into overtime before completing the rally with a 74-66 victory.

"I didn't think it was possible," Price said. "Down by that much on the road against a Randy Shuman-coached team.

"We just got lucky down the stretch."

The key moment came in the final 15 seconds of regulation when Largo forward Breon Bostic scored, drew a foul, then hit the free throw to complete the three-point play and force overtime.

"We were able to force some turnovers and every shot we hit was huge, especially our free throws," Price said.

Bostic and Patrick Kearney each scored 17 to lead the Packers (21-5). The Pirates' top scorer was Kenny Smith, who had 21.

Largo will play Gibbs in tonight's championship game.

The Gladiators broke open a close game by turning to its perimeter game in the second half to beat Pinellas Park 54-48 in the other semifinal.

Quincy Ford hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer at the end of the third quarter, then started the fourth with another 3-point shot to put Gibbs up 40-35 early in the fourth quarter.

"Quincy's shots were big, especially since we didn't shoot the ball particularly well," Gladiators coach Chad Johnson said. "It was an ugly game for us and we were fortunate to win.

"We played just enough defense and made just enough shots to pull through."

Gibbs' Charlie Brooks scored a team-high 13 points, including four 3-pointers.

The Patriots' top scorers were Srdjan Jankovic and Corey Edwards, who each had 12.

5A-12 boys basketball: Largo pulls off improbable comeback, faces Gibbs in final 02/12/10 [Last modified: Friday, February 12, 2010 11:57pm]
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