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Just in the nick of time

By JOHN SCHWARB, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published January 17, 2003

SEMINOLE -- It was not the classic closing-seconds sequence, but a confused Seminole team got it right enough. With a game on the line, find Jen Hansen.

Even if she's unsure, too.

The senior guard hit a jumper from the left side, just inside the 3-point line, with one second remaining Thursday night to keep the Warhawks' perfect record intact in a 49-47 win over Boca Ciega.

"I was just hoping," Hansen said. "You know how those roll out at the last second. I was just hoping it would fall and it did."

Little else fell for Seminole during the second half of the Class 5A, District 10 showdown, as an eight-point halftime lead was gone midway through the third quarter.

Boca Ciega (14-2, 6-1) turned in perhaps its guttiest effort of the season, rallying with four baskets in less than two minutes from Kelcey Roegiers-Jensen and then trading hoops over the last 12 minutes.

The aggressive Pirates defense that helped spur the comeback looked like it would forge overtime, as Seminole spread the floor in the closing seconds but could not get the ball into shooting range.

But with time nearly out, point guard Laura Palmeri somehow navigated a pass through two defenders to Hansen.

"I was surprised to have the ball in my hands," Hansen said. "I'm like, "Ohhhh, boy.' I didn't know how much time there was, I didn't know where my feet were, I just threw it up."

Hansen led all scorers with 20, but the game-winner was her lone field goal in the second half.

With one second remaining, Bogie got an inbounds pass to Roegiers-Jensen just past midcourt, but her desperation heave fell short.

Seminole (17-0, 7-0) also beat Bogie last month in the Hooters Holiday Shootout final 56-38. In that game, the Warhawks' 22-8 third quarter shifted momentum, but Thursday, Bogie turned the tables with a 19-8 third.

"We've got to play them at least one more time, hopefully twice (in a district final)," Bogie coach Nate Southern said. "Our girls know they can beat them."

Seminole may have also been hampered by thoughts of beating two tough Class 6A foes today and Saturday in Sarasota. With No. 6 Sarasota Riverview and 2002 state semifinalist Sarasota on tap in a tournament, the Warhawks will get their stiffest tests of the season.

"I would say the girls are thinking about the weekend," Seminole coach Dave Swanson said. "Each night, it gets tougher and tougher to get mentally prepared."

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