Boys basketball: Tampa Prep 57, Berkeley Prep 47
TAMPA — As far as Tampa Prep senior point guard Amari Goulbourne was concerned, it was about darned time his Terrapins defeated the Bucs.
The last time Tampa Prep defeated Berkeley Prep in boys basketball was more than two years ago when Goulbourne was a sophomore. In that span, Berkeley Prep racked up a painful 5-0 streak over the Terps.
“All the seniors were really hyped up for this one,” Goulbourne said. “We felt this was our time.”
And it was.
In front of a raucous, packed house at Berkeley Prep, the Terrapins shrugged off a relatively slow start and steadily pulled away for a 57-47 victory.
“I think we settled down in the second half,” said Goulbourne, who deftly controlled his team’s tempo. “We knew we had the talent to get it done.”
Besides Goulbourne, who finished with 10 points, Berkeley had trouble with Tampa Prep’s bigger bodies in the paint, particularly Jaren Phillips and Trey Sibert, who finished with 14 and 11 points, respectively, and Charles Scriven, who had a team-high 10 rebounds and six blocked shots.
“We did not play well in the post,” Berkeley Prep coach Bobby Reinhart said. “(Tampa Prep) had an advantage there.”
After the first quarter, which ended tied at 11, it appeared Berkeley Prep (9-5) might hang with Tampa Prep (12-1). But then the Bucs not only struggled under the basket, but they also lost their outside shooting touch. For the game, the Bucs shot 12-of-59 from the field, well below their usual percentage.
“I think the kids were full of adrenaline and they were pressing a little bit,” said Reinhart, referring to the packed house and the fact it was the final game of the annual Headmasters’ Challenge, an all-day event that features 16 games between the schools in boys and girls soccer, basketball and wrestling from varsity, junior varsity and middle school teams. “It’s a special environment and it gets intense.”
Berkeley Prep ended up winning the Headmasters’ Challenge with 15.5 points, 10 ahead of Tampa Prep (one point for victorious teams and a half-point each for ties), but Reinhart was still plenty frustrated with the varsity basketball performance.
“We are still trying to find some answers,” said Reinhart, who on Saturday was without two key players, 6-foot-5 Tim Keeley (injured leg) and last year’s leading scorer at 17.3 points a game, 6-4 Kaleeyl Findlay, who might return soon after recovering from a fractured tibia.
Meanwhile for Tampa Prep, victory was sweet indeed.
“These seniors needed this,” Tampa Prep coach Joe Fenlon said. “Winning this game was so important to them.”