East Lake sees flaws in two-point win
PALM HARBOR — "Sour."
That's the word Walter Smith used to describe East Lake's victory over Palm Harbor University on Friday night.
The Eagles (11-5) led by as many as 16 points in the first half and 50-36 after three quarters, but barely stayed alive to edge the Hurricanes (5-11) 67-65.
There was no celebration in the locker room.
"I don't like close wins like this," Smith said. "We should have blown out this team, but instead we let them stick around."
Smith had a season-high 31 points, but most of it (19) was in the first half. He said his shots stopped falling and the team as a unit wasn't as effective.
"We started strong. We should have finished strong," he said. "It was definitely a sour win."
With less than five minutes to play, Smith hit five unanswered points to give East Lake a 58-47 lead. But inside the final 2:30, the Hurricanes outscored the Eagles 18-9. Palm Harbor U. had possession with two seconds remaining but could not get a final shot off.
No one else hit double digits for East Lake. Dusty McGahee had seven points.
Tyler Stevenson led the Hurricanes with 21 points, including 11 in the fourth quarter. Griffin Ferm and Danny Menken each had 14 points.
Doug Kates, Times correspondent