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Cowboys, Tigers suffer losses


© St. Petersburg Times, published January 19, 2003

DUNEDIN -- A new starting lineup and a new defensive strategy was almost enough for Gaither to overcome Boca Ciega in the Dunedin Shootout Saturday. But even Cowboys coach Dwayne Olinger admitted that their new system will take some time to learn as Gaither fell 63-75 to the Pirates.

"We went with all guards on the court," Olinger said. "I knew coming into play a Pinellas County team we'd need more quickness. But when you play as hard and as quick as you can on defense, you're tired on offense."

Such was the case for the Cowboys (7-8), who shared a 36-36 tie with Boca Ciega at halftime. Antonio Russell made an impact in his second game of the year, scoring 18 points. Brandon Harrison led the team with 23.

"Any time you give up 75 points in a high school game, you're not going to win," Olinger said.

In other games, undefeated Jesuit, ranked seventh in Class 3A, also lost.

Palm Harbor University defeated the Tigers for the first time, handing them a 67-60 loss.

Jesuit trailed early, but in the fourth quarter came back to cut the lead to four with four minutes left. But the Hurricanes held on for the win.

Ryan Smith and John Donoho scored 13 and 12 points in the losing effort.

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