GULFPORT — All season, Seminole has pushed quality teams to the limit only to succumb at the end.
That signature win against a top-tier program again eluded the Warhawks on Friday night, but they showed enough grit and resolve to make Boca Ciega take notice in an overtime game that had fans on their feet as the final seconds expired.
After trailing most of the game, the Pirates forced overtime, then won it as Kenny Smith banked a short jumper with 2.2 seconds remaining for a 45-44 victory.
"Seminole is a tough, scrappy team," Boca Ciega coach Randy Shuman said. "They did everything right to have a chance to win."
The Pirates (13-3) were a depleted bunch. Richard Prince was out with a torn meniscus and Julius Forte was still nursing a shoulder injury suffered during the North-South all-star football game in December.
The Warhawks took advantage, jumping out to a 19-15 lead at the half. Seminole (7-9) led most of the second. But Boca Ciega slowly chipped away thanks to Myron Dempsey, who scored a team-high 17.
"We're really struggling to find any consistency on offense right now," Shuman said. "We're relying on Myron for most of the scoring."
In overtime, the Warhawks' Stephen Foss started to fall in the lane before throwing up a shot to put his team ahead 44-43 with eight seconds left.
Then Seminole watched as Smith nailed the winner. It was the Warhawks' third overtime loss this season.