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Pirates pull first double victory

The Boca Ciega girls slugged through a tough field of opponents two weeks ago and were looking for some way to rebound.

The Boca Ciega boys were looking ahead to a tough bracket of teams last week and looking for some way to stay undefeated.

So it was natural for the coaches _ Harry Elifson of the girls and Randy Shuman of the boys _ to discount the chances of one of their teams winning the Hooters Holiday Shootout, much less both.

However, the Pirates, who hosted the tournament, did it. They won _ both.

It was the first time since the tournament started in 1993 that Boca Ciega's girls and boys teams captured titles in the same year.

"I think that was something that could have happened sooner or later," Elifson said. "Randy and I work really hard, and we have a lot of respect for each other's program. We have a pretty good track record, too."

HOOTERS BOYS TEAM: The MVP of the boys tournament could have gone to just about any Boca Ciega player, but Sharrod McCree earned it with a team-best 22 points in the championship game. Jimmy Baxter was close with 20 points, 10 rebounds and 5 blocked shots. Nathan Stenfors also made the all-tournament squad and Haron Sherrod earned the "Heart and Hustle Award."

From runners-up Orlando Edgewater, Kennard Orange and Nigel Dixon were named.

Others included Phil Webster (Northeast), Danny Greene and Chris Christie (Wharton), Erroyl Bing (Largo) and Marcus Graves (Mullins S.C.).

HOOTERS GIRLS TEAM: Four Boca Ciega players were named to the all-tournament team, led by MVP Tia Miller, who scored 20 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Sophomore guard Tara Fogel, who Elifson said "grew up this week," also was honored with teammates Ebony Smith and Jacque Shirley.

Andrea Brown and Paige Smith were named from runners-up Livingston Academy (Tenn.), and Sharon Smith earned the "Heart and Hustle Award."

Rounding out the team were Alison O'Brien (Clearwater), Ariel Walker and Anrda Lee of Lake City Columbia and Becky Schubeler and Falesha Robertson of Elizabethtown (Ky.).

PRIME-TIME PLAYERS: Among the out-of-town talent in the Hooters Holiday Shootout on the boys side was Rod Grizzard (6 feet 8) from Birmingham Central Park Christian (Ala.), who has signed with the University of Alabama.

Tony Bobbitt (6-4) of defending Class 5A champion Daytona Beach Mainland has signed with Florida State.

For the girls, Paige Smith of Livingston Academy has signed with Austin Peay and will join former Clearwater standout Molly Worrall.

Elizabethtown's Robertson was an honorable-mention USA Today All-American.

PRIME-TIME COACHES: Levan Parker of Central Park Christian, who guided the Eagles to a 32-0 record and three tournament titles last year, has won more than 600 games in his coaching career and entered the Hooters tourney with a 342-16 mark at CPC.

Northeast coach Dave Redding, who won his 300th career game this season, led his Vikings to a 76-75 win over the Eagles and handed them their first loss in more than two seasons.


Boca Ciega's Tia Miller, left, tries to find a way around Stephanie Sullivan of Livingston (Tenn.) Academy during Wednesday's championship game of the Hooters Holiday Shootout. Miller, a junior center, was named tournament MVP as she led the Pirates to the title. The Boca Ciega boys matched the feat the same night.