ST. PETERSBURG — In a game of scoring runs, St. Petersburg Catholic had the most important one in the fourth quarter Saturday, posting 18 unanswered points against Gibbs in a 65-52 victory in the title game of Lady Baron Thanksgiving Shootout.
Barons junior guard Jerica Coley led the Barons with 24 points as the Barons overcame a 33-26 halftime deficit to improve to 4-0 this season. Sophomore guard Coby Goodwin scored 12 off the bench for the Barons.
"It really builds our confidence, especially since it came against such a good team in Gibbs," said Coley, who also had eight assists. "The way we came back was pretty impressive. It shows that we can be competitive no matter who we're going against."
St. Petersburg Catholic made the first substantial run, outscoring Gibbs 11-2 to end the first quarter, with Coley scoring four and dishing out two assists.
Then, after falling behind 23-14 early in the second quarter, Gibbs made a 19-3 run to end the first half. During the run, Gibbs guard Fahran Franklin scored six of her 17, and Kamika Idom had five of her 12 points.
"We weren't getting back on defense, and it allowed (Gibbs) to take advantage with some easy baskets," St. Petersburg Catholic coach Nick Vandewalle said.
In the third quarter, Cooley scored nine to help St. Petersburg Catholic regain the lead 44-43 just before the end of the period. But Idom hit a layup at the end of the quarter to regain the lead.
Gibbs stretched its edge to 50-44 at the start of the fourth quarter, but St. Petersburg Catholic used its press to get the offense going. Cooley scored seven as the Barons reclaimed the lead 54-52 and never looked back.
"We have a lot of young players, so it's still a work in progress, but this game is a big confidence builder," Vandewalle said. "We made a few adjustments in the second half, and we kept pressure on the ball so they couldn't throw over top of the press. It's a nice win."