The Pirates fall behind early and can't make up the deficit, losing 71-60 to the Tigers.
By CAREY FREEMAN
© St. Petersburg Times, published February 23, 2001
DUNNELLON -- It really wasn't a question of if, but when Dunnellon's high-powered offense would get to Pasco in Thursday's Class 4A, Region 2 quarterfinal.
Unfortunately for the Pirates, the answer came rather quickly as the Tigers built a 10-point lead in the first four minutes and did not trail en route to a 71-60 victory.
"What was the difference? Eleven points? I'll guarantee we missed at least that many free throws," Pasco coach Willie "Poncho" Broner III said.
"I told the kids we needed to answer every run they made. And we did that until we missed the free throws."
Broner was not far off on his assessment. Seven missed free throws in the second quarter doomed any chance Pasco (15-15) had of getting back into the game.
Making matters worse, the Pirates did not seize the opportunity presented when Dunnellon's highly touted swingman, Stanley Jackson, left the game for the final three minutes of the first half.
Dunnellon (20-6) led by 10 when Jackson left with 3:33 remaining after picking up his second foul.
Pasco had several chances to close the gap but was plagued by poor free-throw shooting (3-for-7 during the span) and the outside shooting of Tim Columbo (nine points), who made two three-pointers during the span.
"Stanley wasn't scoring much anyway, so we didn't think we would lose much if we pulled him out," Dunnellon coach Steve Powell said.
"It was good to see the other guys step up and maintain the lead."
Paced by a game-high 27 points from guard Leonard Bates, Pasco attempted to get back into contention but could not get over the hump.
The Pirates got within one point in the final minute of the first quarter but got no closer.
Jackson led Dunnellon with 25 points, 7 rebounds and a game-high 8 blocked shots, but it was hardly a one-man show. Sherwin Gates contributed 11 points, most of it in the second half, and Greg Bullock and Daniel Ramp scored eight and seven points, respectively.