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TAMPA — Wesley Chapel and Wiregrass Ranch, the only Pasco County teams in an eight-team field, joined first-round winners Spoto and the host Ravens on Tuesday in the fourth annual Alonso Holiday Classic.
Today’s semifinals feature Spoto and Wiregrass at 3:30 p.m. followed by the Alonso-Wesley Chapel game at 5:15 p.m.
Wesley Chapel and Gaither played the closest game, with the Wildcats relying on a stifling defense in the game’s final three minutes for a 54-49 win. The Cowboys took their last lead at 50-49 on back-to-back baskets in the lane by Chad Hannah. Vincent Bayne then made two free throws to put Wesley Chapel ahead for good.
Christian Parra led Wesley Chapel with 19 points and teammate Erik Thomas had 17 while Hannah paced Gaither with 12.
“I’m really happy with the way we played for the last three minutes,” Wesley Chapel coach Doug Greseth said.
Wiregrass Ranch took a 46-22 halftime lead against Riverview in an 80-68 win. Tanner Carey scored 15 for the Bulls with teammates Michael Chase and Kingsley Boateng chipping in 13 and 12, respectively.
Evans Dasque scored a game-high 27 and helped the Sharks reduce a 24-point deficit to just seven before the Bulls pulled away late.
“That’s the story of our team,” Wiregrass coach Jeremy Calzone said. “Sometime when we don’t get aggressive, we’re not as good. We’ve got to be aggressive all the time.”
Alonso’s 62-44 win over Leto was especially rewarding for coach Todd Price, who spent nine years coaching at Leto (six for the girls, three for the boys).
“It’s always hard to go against them,” said Price, who is in his fourth season at Alonso. “I root for those guys except when I’m playing them.”
In Tuesday’s other game, Spoto defeated Armwood 71-50.