District boys basketball: Canterbury ousts host Bishop McLaughlin
SPRING HILL – With three 20-game winners remaining in the Class 3A, District 4 tournament, Wednesday night’s semifinals were going to be a bitter end for the odd team out. That team turned out to be host Bishop McLaughlin.
Canterbury turned away the Hurricanes 62-49, cementing the Crusaders' spot in the district championship game on Friday night and the program’s 12th state playoff berth.
“We came here to win this tournament,” Canterbury coach Ric Lenholt said. “Once we adjusted, the floor really opened up.”
After setting a school record for wins, Bishop McLaughlin (20-6) held a narrow lead for the first three quarters.
The Hurricanes slowed the pace of the game, and did a good job of shooting from the outside behind the play of Drew James (17 points, four rebounds, four assists) and Gilbert Estien (17 points, 10 rebounds). The duo combined to hit five of the team’s eight 3s, all before James left the game in the third due to foul trouble.
When James picked up his third foul midway through the third, the Crusaders (21-7) took full advantage. The pace quickened and the Bishop McLaughlin offense struggled. In fact, once James left the court, the Hurricanes mustered only nine points for the rest of the night.
Leading scorer Rivers Lenholt (24 points, four rebounds, two steals), a freshman, pressured Bishop McLaughlin’s interior defense and showed a good stroke from the outside. Once the Crusaders built a fourth-quarter lead, it was Lenholt who clinched the win, going 9-of-10 from the fre- throw line.
“I coach him pretty hard,” the coach said. “As hot as it may be out there (on the court), I feel like we have that same kind of heat in practice every day.”
The early semifinal featured the top-seeded team in the tournament, All Saints'. After the first quarter, the Saints were in complete control, but Carrollwood Day was not about to roll over, despite being down 18-9.
The Patriots fought back and cut the lead to fewer than five multiple times, but the Saints ran away with the 60-45 victory when Carrollwood ran seemingly ran out of gas in the fourth.
Carrollwood Day (8-12) surged behind the impressive hustle play of Nolan Colledge (10 points, 10 rebounds, four steals). The guard played tenacious defense while also doing hard work on the glass, leading to a double double.
In the end, the talented backcourt combination of Jake Smith (13 points, five assists, three steals) and Dale Booker (17 points, seven assists, five steals) proved to be too much. All Saints' (22-3) qualifies for the postseason for the 10th time in program history.