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Cobras stifle Pirates for title

By WAYNE GRUMET

© St. Petersburg Times, published February 11, 2001


LAND O'LAKES -- Pasco shot 4-of-28 from the field and fell behind 21-10 to Hudson at halftime Saturday.

The Pirates cut Hudson's lead to four in the third quarter, but Hudson would not be denied its first district title.

The Cobras pulled away again for a 52-39 win and a date at home with North Marion on Thursday. Pasco (14-12) will travel to 4A-7 champion Hernando.

The anticipated matchup between Pasco's Ebony Adams and Hudson's Nicole Warder did not develop early. In the first half, Warder had three points on 1-of-7 shooting while Adams had four on 2-of-11 shooting.

As Warder struggled, sophomore Tarah Marinelli and freshman Jennifer Barrett stepped up. The two combined for 13 of Hudson's 21 first-half points.

Barrett finished with a team-high 14 points while Marinelli had 10 points and seven rebounds. Adams finished 19 points, and Warder tallied 13, but the difference came from each team's supporting cast

"Those kids that we needed to play did their job," Hudson coach Doreen Grote said. "Jennifer Barrett takes a lot of pressure on as a point guard, and she handled it okay. They could have buckled under the pressure."

Pasco got to within 26-22 with 5:06 left.

The game then became a battle at the free-throw line. Hudson shot 3-of-5 from the line while Pasco missed all four of its shots and went scoreless for the final five minutes of the third quarter.

Pasco shot 13-of-31 from the line overall.

"When you miss all of those free throws against a good team, you're not going to win. That's the bottom line," Pirate coach Tony Vasquez said.

"These girls gave me a great effort. They gave me everything they had in the second half."

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