By KEITH NIEBUHR
© St. Petersburg Times, published February 18, 2001
CITRUS SPRINGS -- The best punch Seven Rivers Christian had to offer stunned fifth-ranked Ocala Shores Christian but couldn't knock it off of its feet.
Shores Christian had four players score in double-figures and used a strong second half to earn a 70-57 win in the Class A, District 4 final. Seven Rivers guard Frankie Squire scored a game-high 28 points, including 20 in the second half, but the Warriors were overcome by the Tigers' superior depth and height.
"We represented ourselves well and with class," Seven Rivers coach Greg Hamilton said. "We can hold our heads up. There's still a lot of opportunities left in our season."
Seven Rivers (15-12) plays at Gainesville The Rock on Thursday in the first round of the state playoffs.
For the better part of three quarters, the Warriors went toe-to-toe with Shores Christian (27-6), but in the second half, only Squire did any damage. With Seven Rivers trailing 33-27 at the half, Squire hit a three-pointer to start the third quarter and then another three minutes later to bring Seven Rivers within 35-33 with 4:38 left in the quarter.
"In the third quarter, (Squire) had big points, but nobody else (for Seven Rivers) did," Shores Christian coach Doug Davison said.
Seven Rivers center Bob Adams scored 13 points, but most of his damage came in the first half.
"Early on, we owned the post," Hamilton said. "They adjusted at halftime and made it a little more difficult to get the ball inside."
Squire kept things tight, but eventually, the guard trio of Ricky Douglas (19 points), Lorrenzo Morris (14) and Stephen Mullins (16) helped Shores Christian pull away. Douglas countered Squire's four three-pointers with three of his own.
A Morris three-pointer with 37 seconds left in the third quarter gave Shores Christian an 11-point lead, and it did not look back. Squire hit a jumper with 7:05 left in the game to make it 51-42, but that was as close as the Warriors got the rest of the night.
"Turnovers hurt us, and we might have been worn out a bit," Hamilton said. "But give credit to their players."