Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

5A state basketball: Clearwater's defense makes difference

LAKELAND — The Class 5A semifinal between Clearwater and Palm Beach Gardens Dwyer was supposed to be a matchup of high-flying teams who wanted to keep running all the way to a state title.

But Wednesday's game turned into to a halfcourt scrum, a clutch-and-grab clinic in which defense ruled.

The Tornadoes' defense turned out to be the best.

Clearwater held the Panthers, a team that was averaging nearly 70 points per game, to their lowest point total of the season in a 44-43 victory.

"Everyone talks about our offense," Tornadoes coach Allen Carden said. "But no one talks about how hard we work on defense."

The guy Clearwater paid special attention to was Randy Galloway. The Dwyer guard entered Wednesday's semifinal averaging 17 points per game.

Galloway finished with 13 and was 5-of-15 from the field.

"My shots were not able to fall for some reason," Galloway said.

That had something to do with guards Cory Carden and Regan O'Rourke playing drape-cloth defense. But the big difference was Clearwater's size underneath the basket with 6-foot-8 Julien Sargent and 6-9 Okaro White. The post players combined for 18 of the Tornadoes' 33 rebounds and four of the team's seven steals.

Clearwater's defense paid off in the second half. The Tornadoes (28-3) held Dwyer to four points in the third quarter.

"We just were not able to get things to work for us," Panthers coach Fred Ross said. "Their big guys do a good job of clogging the lane."

5A state basketball: Clearwater's defense makes difference 03/04/09 [Last modified: Thursday, March 5, 2009 12:11am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays Tales: The stories behind Corey Dickerson's ascension

    The Heater

    The 25 pounds DH/LF Corey Dickerson lost during the winter through diet and exercise are considered the primary reason for his ascension to one of the American League's most productive hitters, going into the weekend leading in hits, multi-hit games and total bases, and ranked in the top five in average, runs and …

    Tampa Bay Rays designated hitter Corey Dickerson (10) connects for a sac fly, scores Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Steve Pearce (28) in the fourth inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, June 15, 2016.
  2. For starters: Rays at Twins, looking for another with Odorizzi starting


    UPDATE, 12:45: Cash said Robertson was taking better swings Friday and so he wanted to move him up today, liking the idea of having three straight right-handers vs. a LHP they don't know much about. ... Souza was still smiling this morning about his failed dive attempt last night, and the reaction it got. .. The …

  3. Why the Lightning would consider trading Jonathan Drouin

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — This summer, the Lightning could trade one of its most dynamic young players ever.

    Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin (27) celebrates with his team on the bench after beating Chicago Blackhawks goalie Scott Darling (33) to score his second goal of the period and to tie the score at 4 to 4 during second period action at the Amalie Arena in Tampa Monday evening (03/27/17).
  4. Why the Lightning should keep Jonathan Drouin

    Lightning Strikes

    Keep him.

    Jonathan Drouin is live bait. The Lightning is ready to run the hook through him and cast him out there again. Drouin has enough talent for the Lightning to meet some defensive needs in a deal.

    Keep him.

    Lightning wing Jonathan Drouin celebrates after beating Los Angeles Kings goalie Peter Budaj during the first period of Tuesday's win in Tampa. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times]
  5. This Tampa Bay Lightning wing rides the newest wave of fan interaction

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — There are photos of Lightning fan Shaun Egger as a toddler at center ice at the then-Thunderome, aka Tropicana Field. He's played in the Lightning's high school hockey league for Palm Harbor University. But his closest personal encounter with players had been waving through a crowd after a training camp …

    Tampa Bay Lightning player J.T. Brown wears his anti UV glasses as he talks over the headset with a hockey fan while they play against each other on line in an XBOX NHL video game in Brown's game room at his home in south Tampa. The fan chose to be the Washington Capitals and Brown, of course, was the Tampa Bay Lightning. Brown interacts with fans through video game systems as he streams the games live on Twitch with plans for the proceeds to go to charity.