CLASS 5A, DISTRICT 10: Boca Ciega controls game with slow tempo to keep St. Petersburg at bay 54-50.
By LAURA LEE
© St. Petersburg Times, published February 23, 2003
GULFPORT -- Although the Boca Ciega gymnasium was crowded, the fans were subdued, reflecting the action on the court between Bogie and St. Petersburg, except for the end.
The Green Devils, who trailed most of the game, finally got an edge on the Pirates in the fourth quarter, pulling within two with 24 seconds to play, but Bogie held on to win Saturday's district championship 54-50.
The Pirates used a slow tempo to control the game. Bogie spread the floor on offense, content with passing around the perimeter until a shot opened up inside. The system was more effective in the first half when Bogie (19-9) led by as many as 11.
Defensively, the Pirates targeted St. Petersburg forward Deon Troupe, who scored 42 in the last match-up between the teams.
"He made a believer out of me the last game," Bogie coach Randy Shuman said. "We knew we couldn't let that happen again."
With Emmanual Elamin and Enoris Sly sharing the defensive assignment, Troupe, who finished with 14, barely got his hands on the ball in the first half, taking only three shots. Guard Magjic Dennis kept the Green Devils within reach, draining three 3-pointers on consecutive possessions in the second quarter. The Pirates had a 27-22 lead at halftime.
Bogie got sloppy in the second half and St. Petersburg took advantage, making up ground in the fourth quarter. Down by five, Troupe made a 3-pointer from the top of the key to bring the Green Devils to within two, 52-50, with 24 seconds to play. The Pirates answered with a lay-up from Brian Reeves, keeping St. Petersburg at a distance for the rest of the game.
Bogie forward Marquel Brooks led all scorers with 18, and Richard Pena led the Green Devils with 17.
"They were very aggressive," St. Petersburg coach Chris Blackwell said. "They were better prepared tonight."
Thursday, Boca Ciega will play host to Palm Harbor University in the region quarterfinal game, and St. Petersburg will travel to Largo.