ST. PETERSBURG — For most of the Saturday's first half of the Class 5A, District 12 girls basketball final, Largo zeroed in on stopping Boca Ciega guards Tamara Taylor and Latavia Dempsey.
The strategy neutralized the Pirates top two scoring threats and kept the score close. In fact, the Packers led by a point with three minutes remaining in the second quarter.
Then Boca Ciega started distributing the ball to others. First, Kenya Joseph started scoring on layups. Then Alexis Ungro hit a few midrange jumpers. The result: a 10-1 Pirates run to close out the first half.
The unselfish play continued as Boca Ciega got everyone involved in a 68-43 victory. It was the Pirates' 18th straight district final appearance, the third-longest streak in the state, and it is their fifth straight district title. Boca Ciega will host Seminole in region quarterfinal at 7 p.m. Thursday.
"Largo plays really hard, and I knew this could be a close game," Boca Ciega coach Will White said. "We made some adjustments in the second half and looked for more people to score."
Dempsey was able shake Largo's tight defense to score a team-high 21. But it was Ungro's touch from long range that helped the Pirates pull away.
Ungro hit five 3-pointers, including four in the second half. It was the second time in the past week Ungro has hit at least four 3-pointers in a game.
"I've been working on my form a lot in practice," said Ungro, who scored 19 Saturday. "I think this was one my best shooting performances of the season."
In the second half, Boca Ciega (26-1) outscored the Packers 40-22 and were close to having a running clock.
Largo's top two scorers were Uniqueika Walker (13 points) and Kendra Brown (12).