ST. PETERSBURG — In the past, Boca Ciega coach Randy Shuman often would have the luxury to substitute five players en masse for the starters.
This season, after losing two key players to graduation and four up-and-coming underclassmen who transferred, Shuman is still searching for contributors off the bench.
The Pirates still opened the Northeast Christmas Invitational with another rout Monday as Pirates starters Dallas Moore, Kenny Smith, Kyonn Smith and D.J. White combined to score 61 points in Boca Ciega's 74-46 victory over Countryside.
"I was hoping that last week and this week we would be able to find guys who could bring something off the bench," Shuman said. "I would just like for them to show an understanding of the concepts. I can't mass substitute so I will probably have to just sub one for one and get rest for the starters that way."
Against the Cougars (4-6), the starting five opened a 17-0 lead in less than four minutes, then Shuman sent five players in off the bench with the Pirates (9-0) up 21-5.
But after Cougars senior guard Tae Osoka (15 points) scored six consecutive points, the starters quickly replaced the reserves. It stayed that way for a majority of the first half and the Pirates went into halftime with a 47-25 lead.
"We just need to find guys who are going to fill that sixth, seventh, eighth spot," said Moore, who hit 10-of-12 field goals for a game-high 23 points. "It's very important for us for the rest of the season so the starters can get rest."
White added 17 points for the Pirates, Kyonn Smith contributed nine points and Kenny Smith scored 12 and had nine assists.
Boca Ciega faces Calvary Christian (7-2) in the semi-finals after the Warriors pulled out a 77-69 overtime victory over Seminole. Kyle Wiedinger scored six of his team-high 28 points in the extra period as the Warriors outscored the Warhawks 17-9 in overtime.
Tyler Zacur scored 30 for the Warhawks, who face the Cougars in a consolation game.