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Tornadoes shoot past Packers

By JOHN C. COTEY, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published February 1, 2003

CLEARWATER -- If Largo coach Phil Price had known that after one quarter Clearwater leading scorer Nick Miller would have two points, that second-leading scorer Jacob Loucks would have none and that point guard Luke Postorino would miss more shots than he made, Price would have been one happy coach.

Because that's exactly what he planned for.

However, Price didn't plan for Derelle Houser.

The Tornadoes' top trio might have started slow, but not Houser, who made four 3-pointers in the first five minutes and helped the Tornadoes to an 85-74 win at Jack Wilson Gymnasium. The victory kept Clearwater (20-1) unbeaten in Class 5A, District 9 and Largo dropped to 17-6 overall, 4-4 in the district.

The much bigger Tornadoes had too many weapons for the Packers. Houser, Miller and Jon Thomas scored 33 consecutive points for Clearwater to end the first half, helping erase a five-point deficit in the second quarter and giving the Tornadoes a 44-37 lead.

Houser finished with a season-high 25 and Miller had 24. That was more than Largo could overcome, though Mike O'Donnell, playing for the first time since a concussion 10 days ago, tried to shoot the Packers back into the game.

He finished with 23 and Trevor Bing added 13.

The teams combined to make 21 3-pointers.

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