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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
ST. PETERSBURG - St. Petersburg held Clearwater to a point in the second overtime as the Green Devils survived mental breakdowns in the fourth quarter and in the first overtime to defeat Clearwater 61-54 Wednesday.
Just when the Green Devils were looking to pull away after taking an 11-point lead in the third period, Clearwater fought back to tie the game behind the efforts of Veronica Ryan (26 points).
The Green Devils took a 45-43 led when Kamyia Smith hit a 3-pointer with less than 10 seconds remaining, but Ryan drove the length of the floor and scored on a layup at the buzzer.
St. Petersburg (18-5) had a 53-49 lead late into overtime but J'Beria Davis made consecutive off-balance jumpers to tie the score and send the game into a sixth period.
"This was as good a basketball game as you will see in this county," St. Petersburg coach Ryan Halstead said. "Both teams laid everything on the line and showed a tremendous amount of character.
"I thought we struggled with some turnovers, but we fought back. I've learned a lot about this team in the last 24 hours."
St. Petersburg, which lost to Boca Ciega 57-44 on Tuesday, was led by Jazmyne Green (18 points) and Sharlese Hughes (13).
The Tornadoes (20-4) were hampered offensively without leading scorer Keona Dixon and it showed up at the free-throw line, where they shot just 11-of-29.
"We had to make each trip down the floor count tonight and we just didn't," Clearwater coach Tom Shaneyfelt said. "I'm very proud with the way we competed without Keona, and I think this will help us going into the district tournament."