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Boca Ciega wins 4A title; Port St. Joe reigns in 2A

Boca Ciega kept Hallandale from making a last-second basket and won the Class 4A state boys basketball championship Friday night with a 63-62 victory.

Boca Ciega (33-2) won the first state basketball title for a Pinellas public school since the Pirates won it in 1986. Hallandale (28-2) was making its first return trip to the state tournament since the Chargers won it in 1987.

With 1:10 remaining, Boca Ciega took a 63-58 lead on a free throw by Corey Ellis (the tournament's MVP with 16 points).

But then the Pirates missed a free throw and committed two turnovers. Hallandale got the ball back with 4.6 seconds left and down 63-62.

Hallandale passed to its shooting guard Sebastian Henry. He drove to halfcourt, tried to pass, but the ball fell right into Hank Grant's hands. Henry tried to foul Grant, but the buzzer sounded.

Des Baxter scored 17 of his 22 points in the second half Friday to lead Port St. Joe to a 67-61 victory over West Palm Beach Cardinal Newman in the state Class 4A championship game.

The Sharks (27-7) started slow, but outscored Cardinal Newman 16-5 in the second quarter to take a 27-19 lead at intermission.

The Crusaders didn't close to within six again until the final 1:30 with the Port St. Joe reserves in the game.

Jermaine Larry scored all but two of his 15 in the second half to join Baxter in double figures for the Sharks.

Tim McCoobray paced Cardinal Newman with 24, and Eddie Shannon scored 21. McCoobray had five three-pointers.

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