For all of the late-game scenarios Berkeley Prep boys basketball coach Bobby Reinhart runs during practices, his Buccaneers had never simulated one like they faced Monday: down seven points with 40 seconds left.
Thanks to clutch play from Texas Tech signee Justin Gray, Berkeley prevailed with a 59-56 win over Cardinal Gibbons that gave the Bucs the championship at the prestigious Kingdom of the Sun tournament in Ocala.
“It’s something the guys know, if we’re ever in that situation again, it’s not over until the buzzer blows,” Reinhart said.
Berkeley (13-0) got to that situation after knocking off Deerfield Beach, Kentucky power Louisville Trinity and Cincinnati’s La Salle to reach the final. The Bucs led by four after three quarters before the lead slipped away, forcing a late comeback.
Eric Reintgen hit the first 3-pointer, and Justin Gray nailed two more – including a 30-footer at the buzzer – to force overtime. Berkeley never trailed after that en route to the three-point victory.
“It was wild and crazy,” Reinhart said.
Gray was named the tournament’s MVP after averaging 17 points, seven rebounds and four blocks. Craig Bowman and N’Namdi Green were both named to the all-tournament team.
The Bucs’ schedule doesn’t get much easier, as Berkeley hosts its invitational beginning Friday. Tampa Catholic, Tampa Prep and Jesuit are among the teams scheduled to participate. Berkeley has matchups against Gulliver Prep and Lake Highland – the state’s top program in Class 4A, which is led by North Carolina signee and two-time Mr. Basketball Joel Berry.
Another notable participant will be Miami Ransom Glades senior Alonzo Mourning
Friday: Tampa Catholic vs. Lakeland Kathleen, 1:30; Cardinal Mooney vs. Jesuit, 3; Community School of Naples vs. Tampa Prep, 4:30; Ransom Everglades vs. Lake Highland Prep, 6; Berkeley Prep vs. Gulliver Prep, 7:30
Saturday: Community School vs. Kathleen, 1; Gulliver Prep vs. Cardinal Mooney, 2:30; Random vs. Tampa Catholic, 4; Tampa Prep vs. Jesuit, 6; Berkeley Prep vs. Lake Highland Prep, 8