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Clearwater boys win Bright House Shootout over St. Petersburg

CLEARWATER — The exploits of 6-foot-9 Florida State commitment Okaro White and 6-foot-9 senior center Julien Sargent have been well-chronicled during their high school careers.

But, it's a number of lesser known contributors that, combined with the twin towers inside, have the Tornadoes playing at a high level right now.

Saturday against St. Petersburg in the Bright House Shootout, all of Clearwater's components were clicking in a 78-61 victory.

"We've got a whole lot of players that can play," White said.

Point guard Regan O'Rourke drained two three-pointers in the second half and had 16 points overall. Sophomore guard Joey Nungester came off the bench to add 12 points.

Of course, White's stat line of 32 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks didn't hurt either.

"This is probably the best we've been pushed," Clearwater coach Allen Carden said. "This was a quality game. It was physical, it was tough, and I really liked that. I think our kids responded. We just kept pounding it inside."

White, despite picking up his second foul with 3:44 left in the first quarter, was a terror for the Tornadoes (8-0). When the junior wasn't scoring layups, he was at the foul line (12-for-14).

"We had to hide him a little bit in the first half to keep him from picking up another foul, but he was a beast there in the second half," Carden said.

Sargent scored 13, 10 coming in the first quarter, and had 13 rebounds.

Holding an 18-16 lead, Clearwater opened the second quarter with an 8-0 run. St. Petersburg (9-2) cut it to five late in the half before consecutive 3s by Nungester and O'Rourke put Clearwater ahead by 11. The Tornadoes led 44-30 at the half and were never threatened again.

St. Petersburg's Gabriel Moton was 5-for-12 from three-point range to lead the Green Devils with 16 points.

In earlier action, East Lake outscored Admiral Farragut 19-4 in the third quarter to win 52-45. Freedom, a 66-44 winner over Dunedin, had four players score in double figures, and Gibbs muscled by Pasco 74-48.

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Clearwater boys win Bright House Shootout over St. Petersburg 12/20/08 [Last modified: Monday, December 22, 2008 11:17am]
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