After dishing the sweetest of assists, Dominique Redding smacked her seat on the bench. This game was not going to get away under her watch.
Behind 26 points from the sophomore, determined Clearwater claimed the Hooters Holiday Shootout title Saturday with a 58-55 overtime win over previously unbeaten Bradenton Southeast at the Bayfront Center.
Redding earned most valuable player honors after taking over the game late, scoring six points in the fourth quarter and five of the Tornadoes' seven in overtime.
"Whoo, boy. Wanted that bad, bad, bad," Redding said. "Everybody thought (Southeast) was going to come in and manhandle us. It didn't happen."
Actually, it did in the third quarter, when Southeast went on a 12-2 run to go up 40-29. But Clearwater (12-4) stormed back with a 10-0 run to pull within one.
And midway through the fourth quarter, Redding hit two jumpers to put the Tornadoes ahead by one then fed Sarah May with a crowd-pleasing behind-the back pass for a layup and a 50-47 lead with 2:42 remaining.
Southeast took a timeout to regroup and, moments later, forged a tie at 51 with 25 seconds left when Depree Bowden hit a three-pointer from the right wing. Redding missed a jumper in the closing seconds.
Overtime failed to match the excitement of the closing minutes as Clearwater scored the first five points. With 50 seconds left, the Seminoles got within three at 56-53 after a basket inside from Briana Phillips. But their next possession ended with two missed shots and a traveling violation.
In the overtime, Southeast (15-1) went dry from the field, hitting just 1 of 11 attempts until a meaningless layup with four seconds left.
"Things just seemed to fall into place for us," Clearwater coach Tom Shaneyfelt said. "I think the kids were kind of inspired. They felt like they had a good opportunity."
Kasie Muchler scored 15 points for the Tornadoes, and May added seven, all in the second half.
Cooper City knocked off Boca Ciega 61-48 in the third-place game.
HOOTERS BOYS: Hialeah Champagnat Catholic won the title, beating Lexington, S.C., (9-4) 67-51. Martin Osimani won the MVP for Champagnat (15-0).
In the third-place game, Lakewood had little trouble with Boca Ciega, pulling away early in a 72-44 win. Norris Anderson scored 14 to lead the Spartans (9-1) while Tommy Lampley had 12 for the Pirates (8-6).