Gladiators put down Lions in overtime

Ugly fourth quarter did not stop Gibbs from advancing.

By DOUG KATES Times Correspondent
Published December 28, 2006

GULFPORT - It was, perhaps, one of the worst fourth quarters ever for Gibbs, but thankfully regulation play ended with the Gladiators celebrating and looking for more.

In first-round action at the Hooters Holiday Shootout, Gibbs overcame an offensive vacuum to defeat King 56-45 in overtime and move on in the winner's bracket.

The Gladiators led the Lions 30-28 at halftime and 38-36 at the end of the third quarter to set up what appeared to be a dramatic finish.

The problem was, there was no drama.

In the fourth quarter, Gibbs shot 0-for-6 from the free-throw line and 1-for-14 from the field. King wasn't much better, 2-for-4 from the foul line and 2-for-8 from the field, but it was just enough to take a 43-40 lead with less than five seconds to play.

All the Lions had to do was inbound a pass and run out the clock for the win. But Gibbs guard Al Bostic stole the inbound pass and coach Larry Murphy called timeout with 1.2 seconds remaining.

In the huddle, the Gibbs coach called for a pick outside the 3-point line, but when the inbounder, Larry Murphy, saw Jamal Anderson wide open on the other side, he made a perfect pass to his teammate, who netted a last-second, tying 3-pointer.

In overtime, it was all Gladiators.

Gibbs went 2-for-2 from the field and 8-for-9 from the foul line to outscore King 13-2.

"I basically thought we did a great job on defense, but we just couldn't score," Coach Murphy said. "Usually we get our energy from our defense."

Gibbs will join seven other teams in the winner's bracket today: Clearwater defeated Osceola 67-18, Countryside defeated Northeast 44-38, St. Petersburg defeated Central 86-55, Boca Ciega defeated Spoto 67-36, Pinellas Park defeated Armwood 55-51, Brandon defeated Dixie Hollins 64-58 and Jefferson defeated Lehigh 59-49.

Anderson finished the night as the high scorer for Gibbs. Despite no points in the first quarter, he finished the game with 19. Bostic had 15 points and Murphy added 14. Toarlyn Fitzpatrick netted 18 points for King.

Co-host Boca Ciega advanced after an easy 67-36 triumph over Spoto. The Spartans were never given a shot from the free-throw line and were only 16-for-40 from the field. Nehemiah Simpkins led the Pirates with 14 points.