By SCOTT PURKS
© St. Petersburg Times, published February 25, 2001
Four Hillsborough County high schools had chances to win state titles Saturday in towns throughout Florida: Bloomingdale girls soccer, Jesuit and Gaither boys soccer and Brandon wrestling.
Only a couple of missed penalty kicks separated the county from a title sweep.
The only loss was suffered by Gaither, 1-0 to Orange Park in the Class 4A final at Pepin/Rood Stadium -- but only after overtime, sudden-death overtime and penalty kicks, of which the Cowboys missed two.
A few hours earlier on the same field, Jesuit (ranked No. 2 in the nation) defeated Riviera Beach Suncoast 1-0 to take the Class 2A title.
At almost the same time in Tallahassee, Bloomingdale's girls won the Class 4A state title 3-2 in overtime over DeLand, capping a playoff run in which the Bulls won every game on the road. The title also was the first for Sue Peet in her 21-year coaching career.
At the Lakeland Center, Brandon won its 12th state title. The Eagles entered Saturday's 2A final with an insurmountable lead, which they accrued through the preliminaries.