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Packers surprise Cougars

Four straight baskets by Betty Barjarias late in the fourth quarterThursday night propelled the Largo girls basketball team to a 52-48 upset of Countryside, putting the Packers into today's Class 4A, District 7 semifinals at Pinellas Park High.

Barjarias' eight points gave the Packers (4-16) a 50-45 lead with 1:36 left. The Cougars (13-12) lost an opportunity to win at the foul line, hitting only one of seven free throws in the last 1:30.

In the first game, Dunedin's Emily Hyde scored 22 points and Vicki Floyd added 17 as the Falcons (8-15) downed Seminole 71-43 to move into the semifinals against No. 1 seed Pinellas Park (29-1) tonight at 6 p.m. Largo plays Clearwater (22-5) at 8 p.m. After splitting with the Cougars in two regular-season meetings, Largo jumped to a 6-0 lead but fell behind 25-20 by halftime.

Countryside center Crystal Ashley and forward Lora Evans combined for 15 first-half points under the basket.

The Cougars maintained their lead until midway through the third quarter, when Felicia Adams, who scored 20 points for the Packers, put Largo ahead 31-29 with 3:51 left.

Countryside regained a four-point edge at 35-31, but Largo rallied once more and seized a 40-35 advantage at the start of the fourth quarter.

"They hustled real hard," Largo coach Val Jenkins said of her team. "We just pulled together and played team ball. Betty really pulled us out; her points made a crucial difference."

"I was just there in the game," said Barjarias, who was 6-for-9 in the second half and totaled 16 points. "I was shooting good tonight."

Dunedin pulled away in the second quarter of the first game. Hyde hit six consecutive free throws and a basket and Floyd scored 12 points to put the Falcons ahead 31-18 at the half.

Seminole, led by Amy Meadors and Christine Olson, who scored 13 points each, ended its season 7-18.

Palmetto wins in 2A-11, meets CCC tonight

SARASOTA - Catherine Lewis scored a team-high 16 points to lead Palmetto over Sarasota Booker 46-39 at Cardinal Mooney in the opening round of the Class 2A, District 11 tournament. Tasha Brinson added 12 for Palmetto.

Clearwater Central Catholic meets Palmetto tonight at 6 p.m. in the semifinals.