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Clearwater claims title


© St. Petersburg Times, published December 22, 2002

CLEARWATER -- It took some time for the smoke to clear and a champion to emerge, but Jacob Loucks' 26 points and Nick Miller's 16 led Clearwater past North Laurel, Ky., 68-65 in the final of the Time Warner Tournament on Saturday.

Sophomore Trent Jones led the Jaguars (7-1) with 16 in a game in which the lead changed hands 15 times before the third quarter ended.

With the game tied at 47, Mike Beck, who finished with 15, started a Clearwater run that ended with eight unanswered points and a lead it would not relinquish.

Clearwater's victory over a state-ranked team pleased first-year Tornadoes coach Jack Coit.

"We executed our offense well and when we needed to score, we did," he said.

Coit was also pleased with Clearwater's (8-0) balance.

"We never really go to any one person. We run our offense to go to whoever is on.

"(Loucks) is a great player, and when Miller went out early with two fouls, he just picked it up and really did a good job."

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