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By WAYNE GRUMET
© St. Petersburg Times, published January 27, 2001
HUDSON -- Hudson did everything it could to frustrate Pasco on Friday. The Cobras swarmed all over Pasco, holding the Pirates to just 20 percent shooting from the field.
And they mustered enough offense to top Pasco 48-41, clinching the top seed in the Class 4A, District 8 tournament.
Hudson (15-4 overall, 7-1 in 4A-8) scored 19 points in the third quarter -- one more than it scored in the entire first half. Nicole Warder and Lauren Bislick carried the Cobras, scoring a combined 15 third-quarter points.
"Nicole you can count on. She is somebody we look to be a leader," Hudson coach Doreen Grote said.
"Lauren's been playing really well lately as well as Alison Baker. That is what's kicked us up another notch to play at the level we're playing right now."
Baker kept Pasco out of the paint, forcing the Pirates to attempt 25 three-pointers. The senior center also pulled down 10 rebounds.
Pasco (11-9, 6-2) dominated the boards despite Baker's efforts. The Pirates outrebounded Hudson 47-32, including a 22-10 edge on the offensive glass. Despite all of the second and third chances, Pasco couldn't find a rhythm.
"They did a really great job of playing defense tonight. They picked up their defensive intensity," Pasco coach Tony Vasquez said. "We just weren't prepared to match their intensity."
Pasco's Ebony Adams and Shamara Craig got off to a slow start and did not recover. Adams was whistled for two traveling violations in the first quarter and shot just 2-of-12 in the first half. Adams finished with 16 points on 6-of-26 shooting before fouling out with 2:29 to play. Craig finished with 11 points on 3-of-22 shooting while combining with Adams to shoot 4-of-23 from three-point range.
"We had to be aggressive because it's hard to run our offense (against them)," said Warder, who had 17 points and three steals.
"So we had to work it on defense and hopefully throw them off."
Pasco's frustration boiled over in the final minutes. The teams combined for 15 fouls in the fourth quarter after totalling 11 in the first half.
The Pirates closed the game with a series of hard fouls that left both teams exchanging verbal jabs after the buzzer.
"We both know how important this game was, and emotions were right there," Grote said.
"Everybody's playing as hard as they can, and every little thing that happens is going to be accelerated to the max."