ST. PETERSBURG — Friday's game between Boca Ciega and Gibbs had all the ingredients to be good. The raucous crowd, slam dunks and excitement. Both teams came in undefeated, and there had been some smack talking between the two.
Kenny "Speedy" Smith led the charge for the Pirates with 26 points and eight assists with help from Dallas Moore, who drained six 3-pointers to help Boca Ciega win a 71-66 overtime thriller.
"It was a game of big spurts, and Dallas Moore was unbelievable," Pirates coach Randy Shuman said.
The Pirates came out and hit five 3-pointers in the first quarter and D.J. White had a rim-shaking alley-oop.
At one point in the first quarter the Pirates led by 15. The Gladiators cut the deficit to 23-16 as the Pirates controlled the quarter.
The Gladiators started to come alive in the second quarter behind Gary Simon (13 points) and Quincy Ford (21), but the Gladiators trailed 38-31 at halftime.
In the second half the Gladiators continued to play catch-up as Simon and Ford were major contributors in the third quarter. The Gladiators played tough defense in the fourth quarter and fought their way back into the game. Devante Miley heated up with timely baskets, hitting the layup that tied the score at 56.
Then Miley hit a 3-pointer to put the Gladiators up 59-56, but Boca Ciega retied things with a free throw by Josh McCree and a layup by Smith. Simon had a chance to win it in regulation, but as he drove to the basket his shot was blocked.
Miley kept the Gladiators in it during overtime, hitting a layup and a free throw. The Gladiators traded baskets with Boca Ciega to stay tied in overtime.
Keyonn Smith hit a layup and was fouled and the Pirates went up 69-66. Keyonn Smith, who had 12 second-half rebounds, then iced the game with a free throw.
"Their perimeter shooting killed us early and we need this loss; however we will see them again," Gibbs coach Larry Murphy said.