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Clearwater impressive against nation's best

By Times staff

© St. Petersburg Times, published January 5, 2003

The Clearwater girls, ranked No. 1 in Class 5A, had their winning ways halted Saturday night against one of the nation's top teams in the final of the Naples Daily News Holiday Shootout.

The Tornadoes (16-2) lost to the No. 9 team in the USA Today Super 25 poll, South Sioux City, Neb., 55-50. Despite the loss, the team completed an impressive four-day stretch against teams from three states.

In the title game, senior Dominique Redding led the Tornadoes with 23 points. Nicole Ryan added 15 and Rachel Hammond seven. The trio was named to the all-tournament team.

On Friday night, Clearwater beat Sacred Heart Academy of Louisville, Ky., the defending Kentucky all-class state champion and current No. 6 team in the USA Today poll.

On Thursday night, Clearwater beat Greensburg (Pa.) Central Catholic 53-44 behind 20 points from Redding and 15 from Hammond. The Tornadoes led off the tournament New Year's Day with a win over Lexington (Ky.) Catholic 74-71, with Redding scoring 29 and Ryan 14.


Largo sweeps Leto titles

TAMPA -- Behind Mike O'Donnell's 23 points, the Largo boys erased a seven-point halftime deficit to defeat Wharton 65-56 in the Leto Holiday Classic title game Saturday.

In the girls final, Shaneisha Walton led the Packers girls past Gaither 55-43 with an MVP performance for their second straight title. Walton led all scorers with 18 points and added 12 rebounds, 6 blocks and 3 steals.

Largo's Alexis Henry and Monique Henson were named to the all-tournament team.

-- Times staff

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