A poor-shooting first half doesn't keep Tornadoes from barreling to the win.
By JOHN C. COTEY
Published January 7, 2004
This was the quandary for Dunedin on Tuesday night: It had to get past Clearwater's pressure (no easy task), work the ball against the hawking man-to-man defense (fun it was not) and hope to find an opening for a shot (if they were lucky) against the rangy Tornadoes.
And if - if - Dunedin could manage that, then it had to wonder where 6-foot-10 Cruz Daniels was.
It was all just too much for the overmatched Falcons, who were buried by Clearwater 69-45 at Jack Wilson Gymnasium in a game that wasn't even that close.
Clearwater (10-1) led by as many as 32 early in the fourth quarter before the two benches squared off in an anticlimactic ending between the two rivals.
While Luke Postorino was picking pockets on the outside, Daniels had his way inside, blocking nine shots. Coming off a 19-rebound performance in an Orlando tournament, Daniels altered at least a dozen more shots.
"There's no question even when he doesn't block the shot, just being there intimidates the other team," said coach Jack Coit, whose Tornadoes are ranked No. 3 in Class 5A in the latest state poll.
Clearwater shot only 8-for-29 in the first half but took 12 more shots than Dunedin and led 28-18 at halftime.
In the third quarter the Tornadoes were nearly perfect. Postorino, who had a terrible shooting first half, made a pair of 3-pointers on his way to 19 points, and Trevor Lee scored eight of his game-high 20 as Clearwater closed the quarter with a 16-2 run.
The Tornadoes made seven of 11 shots in the quarter, while Dunedin (4-6) made only two of nine. In the second half Clearwater outshot Dunedin 57-33 percent.
"Defensively we just played really good man-to-man defense and took them out of what they wanted to do," Coit said.
Jerome Johnson led Dunedin with 12 points, eight in the fourth quarter.