COUGARS 64 PACKERS 59

LARGO – Countryside’s Mikey Shane buried a deep 3 from the left wing with 33.6 seconds left and the Cougars held on to open the 2018-2019 season with a solid 64-59 win at Largo.

“To come down here and play an athletic Largo team that never quits, it’s good,” said C-Side coach Jeff Powers. “The win is great and it’s also good to experience the atmosphere and the relentlessness that Largo gave us. I’ll take it.”

Shane’s clutch 3-pointer broke a 59-59 tie and the Packers (0-1) didn’t sink another shot the rest of the night. Largo got off a clean look to tie with a corner 3 in the final seconds but the attempt went long and Countryside’s Jared McGarrity iced the win with two free throws.

Speaking of free throws, they proved pivotal Wednesday night. The Cougars scored 13 more points from the line, ending 20 of 30 compared to 7 of 13 for Largo.

Countryside (1-0) got into the bonus with 5:09 still remaining in the game-changing second quarter. That period opened with the Packers leading 21-11 and ended with Countryside up 38-29 at the break. The Cougars made 10 of 16 free throws in the second and began the quarter on a 10-0 run.

Countryside took the lead for good late in the second when junior Alex Vituchi poured in six straight points to put the Cougars ahead 32-26. Largo managed to tie the game late at 59-59 until Shane hit his big 3.

“In the first half we were shooting free throws,” Powers said. “We were making the extra pass, we were penetrating, then we got away from it in the second half.”

Vituchi led all scorers Wednesday with 15 points, followed by 13 each from Shane and McGarrity.

Largo forward Raymond Collins put up 14 points and Keylen Gulley and Andrew Roldes both scored 11.

Countryside gets into Class 8A District 10 competition Friday night at Pinellas Park.

Largo is off until hosting Tarpon Springs on Monday night.

BOX SCORE:

CS – 11 – 27 – 10 – 16 --- 64

Lar – 21 – 8 – 12 – 18 --- 59

TOP PERFORMERS:

Countryside (1-0)

Alex Vituchi – Game-High 15 points, 8 rebounds

Mikey Shane – 13 points (Game-winning 3-pointer)

Jared McGarrity – 13 points, 6 rebounds

Carson Skinner – 9 points, 12 rebounds

Largo (0-1)

Raymond Collins – 14 points, 7 rebounds

Keylen Gulley – 11 points, 7 rebounds

Andrew Roldes – 11 points (2 3-pointers)