CLEARWATER — Kendra Brown lost track of the ball not long after it left her hands, but within moments the 5-foot senior guard knew it had gone into the hoop.
"I heard the screams," Brown said.
Brown's 3-pointer from the right wing as time expired Monday night was a shot she won't soon forget. Not only did it give Largo a thrilling 42-41 victory over Countryside, but it was the first winning buzzer-beater of her life.
It came at the conclusion of what had been a forgettable game.
"I was playing below average," said Brown, who finished with five points.
For half of the game, so was the entire Largo (8-4) team, which was getting outrebounded, outexecuted and outhustled by a gritty Countryside (6-2) squad.
Behind the play of forward Savannah Stona (10 points) and guard Amanda Blanton (nine points), the Cougars led 16-7 after one quarter and 20-14 at the half.
"They're a smart team," Packers coach Kristopher Foote said. "And they were playing well."
The tide turned in the second half, thanks largely to Largo's trapping defense, which forced turnover after turnover and allowed the Packers to charge into the lead early in the fourth. Countryside quickly recovered by going back in front and was ahead by five with 1:30 left.
Two foul shots by Gloria Reneau tied it at 39 with 12.3 seconds left, but then Countryside's Aly Grossman drove the length of the floor for a go-ahead layup at the six-second mark.
During a timeout, Foote instructed Packers guard Brandi Feazell (14 points) to drive and shoot, or pass if she was guarded. When the latter happened, she dished to an open Brown, who quickly fired off her picture-perfect shot.
"I'm blown away," Brown said. "It feels great."