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By PETE YOUNG
© St. Petersburg Times, published December 28, 2000
ST. PETERSBURG -- For the final three minutes of the first half of Wednesday's opening-round game between Robinson and Boca Ciega at the Hooters Holiday Shootout, the Knights outscored the Pirates 13-2 to take a 27-26 lead. Hopefully, Robinson enjoyed itself in the locker room because it was the Knights' only lead, and the rest of the game was an exercise in frustration.
With the exception of that three-minute flurry, which was induced by effective pressure defense and turnovers, Robinson (3-8) could do little right. Stymied by Boca Ciega's 2-3 zone, the Knights never got on track and lost 70-51.
"We've been struggling shooting the ball," Robinson coach Steve Smith said. "We can't put the ball in the basket. The way to beat a zone is to shoot well from the outside. We had some opportunities, and we just couldn't make a shot."
For most of the game, the lone Robinson player providing a spark was senior forward Clark Green. With neither team having a player over 6 feet 3, the 6-foot Green was effective inside, scoring a game-high 22 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.
Green single-handedly kept Robinson from getting blown out early. He scored 10 of the Knights' first 14 points as Robinson trailed 24-14 before its run. Green scored eight of Robinson's first 10 points in the second half to keep it close for awhile, but Boca Ciega slowly pulled away.
"Clark's really been battling. He's been doing a nice job recently," Smith said.
Naim Mateen added 15 points for Robinson. The Knights play Boca Raton Pope John Paul II, which lost to Northeast 43-29, at 4:30 p.m. today.
OTHER HOOTERS ACTION: In the last of eight games Wednesday, Armwood lost to Class 4A, No. 1-ranked Lake Wales 57-46.
The Hawks, ranked No. 3 in the Times Tampa Bay Top 10 and No. 7 in Class 4A, play Marrero (La.) John Ehret at noon today.
Wharton lost to West Palm Beach Cardinal Newman 52-42. The Wildcats (10-3) play Dixie Hollins at 10:30 a.m. today.
SCHEDULING NOTE: All Hooters Holiday Shootout games now will be at the Bayfront Center.