St. Petersburg Shootout: Host team tops Clearwater

Other winners on Saturday: Lakewood, Anclote and Plant.
Published January 13

ST. PETERSBURG — As the lone undefeated team left in the bay area, St. Petersburg knows every game is going to be tough.

"We've got the target," Green Devils coach Chris Blackwell said. "We're the game for everyone left on the schedule. We're getting their best shot."

On Saturday, it was Clearwater's turn at St. Petersburg's annual shootout.

The Tornadoes played tough. They rebounded with authority. They hustled to create turnovers. At times, they even dictated the pace, especially in the second half.

But it was not enough.

After watching an 11-point lead dwindle to two in the fourth quarter, the Green Devils responded by hitting clutch shots, the biggest coming on a pair of 3-pointers from Terell Strickland, to pull away in a 55-43 win.

"We were rushing things a little bit, but we had to collect ourselves and just make smart decisions, which we were able to do," Blackwell said.

The schedule does not get any easier for St. Petersburg (16-0), which plays Class 8A, District 10 rival East Lake on Tuesday and neighborhood rival Lakewood on Wednesday.

"This was good for us," Blackwell said. "We needed to face some adversity."

Harlow Babb had a team-high 16 points for the Green Devils. Max Jones and Dawson Maxwell each scored 10 for the Tornadoes (11-4).

Lakewood 61, Tampa Catholic 47: The last time these teams met two years ago, the Spartans were in duck-and-cover mode as the Crusaders showed off a variety of dunks, most coming from standout Kevin Knox, now with the New York Knicks.

That was in a preseason game Tampa Catholic won with ease on St. Petersburg's court.

This time, it was Lakewood doing the dunking.

The jams came from the Spartans' big man, 6-foot-9 forward Jamille Reynolds. He scored on alley-oops and two-handed slams, finishing with a team-high 19 points in the win.

By the second quarter, Lakewood (11-2) had a double-digit lead. The Crusaders were without Alijah Harrison, who is serving a two-week suspension from the school for disciplinary reasons. Kobe Knox led Tampa Catholic with 18 points.

Anclote 80, Gibbs 75 (OT): The Sharks have started the second half of the season strong. They started the week with a win against Wesley Chapel and finished it off by surviving a furious rally by the Gladiators.

Ahead by double digits throughout the first half, Anclote (8-3) watched its lead evaporate as Gibbs (8-8) dialed up the pressure.

In overtime, the Sharks kept feeding the ball inside to Jakob Hester, who scored a team-high 24 points, including some clutch free throws down the stretch.

The Gladiators' Tre Gilliam, who was honored in Friday night for reaching 1,000 career points, led all scorers with 29 on Saturday.

Plant 73, Canterbury 50: The Panthers jumped out to a 22-4 lead after the first quarter and cruised to their fifth win in their last six games.

The turnaround started last weekend when Plant (9-8) took home the title at Clearwater Central Catholic's tournament, the big win coming against East Lake in the semifinals.

Bobby Gough scored a team-high 18 and Logan Morrissey added 16 to lead the Panthers in Saturday's win.

The Crusaders (11-7), meanwhile, have gone 2-5 in their last seven games with most of tge losses coming against teams in higher classifications. Rivers Linholt was Canterbury's top scorer with 24 points against Plant.