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Pace, win get away from Largo

Largo coach Dee Feazell watched tape to get an analysis on Naples Barron Collier's strengths and weaknesses. She thought she had a detailed scouting report on how to handle the Cougars' half-court offense.

But even with preparation, the Packers were not ready for this.

Barron Collier executed almost everything that can be done on a basketball court. The Cougars scored on sublime high-low passes to cutting teammates for layups. On defense, they pressed and trapped and fell into zones.

They showed themselves to be tough, skilled, tenacious and smart.

That hurt as Largo fell short in its first Class 5A state semifinal appearance, losing 60-50.

"(Barron Collier) is probably the most disciplined basketball team we've faced all season, especially with their half-court offense" Feazell said. "They're very methodical and show a lot of patience as they go through their progressions with their back-door cuts and picks.

"They made us pay."

During a back-and-forth first half in which neither team held more than a three-point lead, the Cougars were able to do just enough to pull out a 28-27 lead.

Barron Collier (30-2) kept it going by executing its offense with flipped-in runners, spun-in layups and swished pull-up jumpers.

How good were the Cougars in the second half? They were 14-of-20 in field goals and missed only one layup.

All of that gave the Packers fits.

Largo (26-2) is a team of slashers and ankle-breakers who are perfect for Feazell's brand of up-tempo basketball.

Normally the Packers' ability to run helps them rally from big deficits.

This time, though, Largo fell behind and couldn't do much about it, especially after shooting 8-of-28 in the second half.

"We haven't played a team as patient as Barron Collier was," Feazell said. "Usually teams get out and run with us. It's something that we can learn from."

The Cougars had three players score in double figures - Kasey Will (16 points), Kelsey Assarian (13) and Erin Zampell (11).

Alexis Henry had 23 points, including four 3-pointers, to lead Largo.

"I'm a senior and I knew this could possibly be our last game," Henry said. "I wanted to do my part to carry us on the offensive end. The game just got away from us."