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Dominant Tornadoes blow past Patriots

CLASS 5A, DISTRICT 9: Clearwater secures ninth title in 10 years with 65-30 win over Pinellas Park.

By ERIC MUSKATEVC

© St. Petersburg Times, published February 16, 2003


CLEARWATER -- Clearwater won its district like it usually does.

For the ninth time in 10 years, the Tornadoes took home the district trophy after their 65-30 win over Pinellas Park.

"It seems to be that we have a pretty good thing going on here," Clearwater coach Tom Shaneyfelt said. It didn't take an overpowering performance from Dominique Redding, who scored eight in limited action, to conquer the Patriots. Sound defense by the Tornadoes kept Pinellas Park under 10 points in each of the first three quarters. Clearwater took a 20-4 first-quarter lead and was ahead 34-13 at halftime.

"I liked our defensive intensity tonight. Everyone on the team was excited out there," Shaneyfelt said.

Ten players scored for the Tornadoes. Tricia Finke and Karley Counts each had a game-high 10 points.

Pinellas Park was led by Amber Cross, who scored nine. Karen Braden and Redding had eight and seven, respectively, by halftime but were rested much of the second half.

Clearwater (26-4) will play host to Boca Ciega on Thursday, and the Patriots (16-13) will travel to Seminole. The Tornadoes have reached the state semifinals five times during the past seven years, and Shaneyfelt sees similarities between this team and those squads.

"Comparisons like that are so difficult, but this team, like all of the other teams, has the desire and the talent," Shaneyfelt said. I think we have a little more depth this year though, and we're getting better in the post."

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