ST. PETERSBURG — The scorebook for Gibbs' 52-40 victory over St. Petersburg shows the Gladiators' 6-foot-2 forward Larkira Jones with a rather pedestrian seven points.
Dig a little deeper, and Jones' value to Gibbs becomes readily apparent.
Jones snagged a team-high 14 boards to help Gibbs outrebound the Green Devils 42-28 Monday.
"She's our rebound queen," Gibbs coach Angela Meiser said. "She does a great job on the boards."
The senior blocked six shots and altered many more.
"I think we missed about 15 layups according to the count from my assistant coach," St. Petersburg coach Tracolya Green said.
In general, Jones was the MVP of the Gladiators' ninth win.
"We've improved a lot over the last two seasons," she said. "We're coming together as a team.
Gibbs (9-1) led 15-7 after one quarter and held a 10-point advantage (27-17) at halftime. The Gladiators surged ahead by 13 early in the fourth before the Green Devils made one last run.
After St. Petersburg cut Gibbs' lead to five with 3:22 remaining, the Green Devils nearly forced a turnover at midcourt on Gibbs' next possession. The Gladiators, however, corralled the loose ball and found Fahran Franklin wide open for her second 3-pointer of the night.
Franklin contributed 15 points. Sophomore Kamika Idom went 8-for-15 at the free-throw line to score a game-high 19 points. Idom also had nine rebounds.
"It was a total team effort," Meiser said. "We have good chemistry as a team and showed great teamwork tonight."
St. Petersburg (7-3) was plagued by poor shooting. Jazmyne Green, who averages more than 20 points, was held to 13. She was 0-for-6 from 3-point range.
"That was the game plan, get in her face," Meiser said. "Try to shut her down and make the rest of the team beat us."
Danielle Troupe was effective inside for St. Petersburg and finished with 13 points and eight rebounds.