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Largo rallies from 16-point hole, holds Chamberlain to four second-half baskets.
By JOE SMITH
Published February 16, 2007
LARGO - There Charlie Lytle was, in midair with the ball in his hands, a tied regional quarterfinal down to its final breath. As the crowd screamed, the Largo senior saw 6-foot-4, 200-pound Mike Helm flash under the basket.
"Mike's a beast," Lytle said. "And he was open."
Lytle passed the ball to Helm, who made a basket and free throw with four seconds left to lift Largo to a 37-34 come-from-behind win over Chamberlain.
Once Chiefs guard Dantavis Adkins' half-court heave at the buzzer rattled off the rim, the season was over for last season's state runnerup.
"Adrenaline was pumping all night," said Helm, who scored a game-high 14. "It was wild."
In avenging last year's region final loss, Largo 23-5 moves on to the region semifinals to face Lakewood (26-2) Tuesday at Eckerd College.
To get there, the Packers overcame a 16-point deficit by holding Chamberlain to just four second-half field goals and 13 points in the final 21 minutes.
This came after the Chiefs sank four, first-quarter 3-pointers, taking a 21-5 lead on a Largo team that "played our worst quarter in four years," Lytle said.
But in the second quarter, the Packers picked up their perimeter defense, forcing several turnovers en route to a 10-0 run.
The Packers tied it early in the fourth. The Chiefs (22-7) had the ball with a minute left and the game tied, but Largo senior Tony Russo's steal with 27 seconds left set up Helm's heroics.