Girls basketball: Green Devils earn double-OT win

By Corey Long
Published January 24, 2008

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."