ST. PETERSBURG — If Wednesday night's game is any indication how the rivalry between Gibbs and Boca Ciega will play out this season, expect must-see basketball.
Gibbs held on for a 73-71 overtime victory in the Northeast Christmas Tournament when Boca Ciega freshman guard Dallas Moore's 3-pointer from the right corner was blocked as time expired. Moore had sent the game in overtime with a 3 with seven seconds left in regulation.
"This is probably the best all-around game we've played all season," Gibbs coach Chadrick Johnson said. "We let them back into the game, but we'll take a win any way we can get them. The key to our success in this game and from here on out is our senior guard play.."
Tuesday is another game against Boca Ciega, which let a 27-23 lead slip away in the second quarter Wednesday when Gibbs went on a 16-4 run to end the half.
The Pirates fought back as point guard Kenny Smith scored 12 of his game-high 30 points in the third quarter to help the Pirates close to 49-48.
The teams traded leads several times in the fourth before Moore's jumper.
In overtime, Smith hit a driving layup with less than 50 seconds to play to put the Pirates ahead 71-69. Tournament MVP Charlie Brooks then drove the length of the floor to make an acrobatic layup. Brooks was fouled on the play and hit the free throw to put Gibbs up 72-71.
The Pirates turned the ball over on their next possession with 14 seconds to play and Quincy Ford hit one of two free throws after being fouled for the final score.
"We definitely have it in our minds that we can be the most dominant team in the county," said Brooks, who scored 17.
Tampa Hoops Classic
TAMPA — Jersey City (N.J.) St. Anthony, ranked No. 22 in the latest USA Today high school rankings, and Jacksonville Arlington Country Day won their semifinals at the Tampa Hoops Classic, setting up a highly anticipated championship matchup — 7 tonight at Plant High — between two of the country's marquee programs.
St. Anthony (5-0) rolled to a 71-44 victory over Winter Springs (10-2). The St. Anthony duo of St. Bonaventure commitment Elijah Carter and Richmond commitment Derrick Williams combined for 45 points.
Country Day (10-2) bolted to a 15-point advantage after one quarter before beating Orlando Dr. Phillips (10-1) 68-58. Cincinnati commitment Justin Jackson scored 16 for the Indians.
Elsewhere, Brooklyn (N.Y.) Lincoln defeated Clearwater 63-56. The Tornadoes will play Tampa Prep on the Terrapins' home court for seventh place at 3:15 p.m. today. Lakewood, which fell 62-47 to Baton Rouge (La.) Christian Life, is in the 11th-place game at Tampa Prep against Norfolk (Va.) Christian at 1:30 p.m.
Bryan Burns, Times staff writer