CLEARWATER — Friday's PCAC championship between Boca Ciega and Clearwater reached a feverish pace in the fourth quarter. The Pirates were clinging to a 56-53 lead and trying to stall when the Tornadoes stole the ball leading to a layup by Joey Nungester.
During Boca Ciega's subsequent timeout, 5-foot-8 guard Dallas Moore asked Pirates coach Randy Shuman if he could shoot a 3-pointer when open again. Shuman bellowed, "Yes!"
Five seconds later, Kenny Smith found Moore in the corner and the sophomore hit the 3. The Pirates stopped the Tornadoes on the next possession, Moore was fouled, made two free throws and the Pirates finished the last minute and a half with a 10-0 run to fuel a 66-55 win.
"He just told me that he'd never tell me to stop shooting," said Moore, who scored 30 and has 30-plus in each of his past three games.
The Pirates (21-2) secured their first PCAC title in this century after ruling much of the 1990s, but it didn't come easy.
The Tornadoes finished the first half with a 6-2 run to go into halftime with a 26-24 deficit. A basket by Dionta Hubbard (nine points) at the beginning of the third tied it and a runner in the lane by Nungester (18 points) minutes later gave the Tornadoes (19-7) their first lead at 31-30.
The teams traded the lead four more times before Bogie regained the advantage for good; an acrobatic layup by D.J. White started a nine-point run for a 50-42 lead at the start of the fourth.
"It's a nice win for us, especially the seniors," Shuman said. "We can check that off our list and now we have to focus on taking care of districts."