Boys basketball: Alonso sails into Holiday Classic final

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Thu. December 29, 2011 | Mark Chisholm

TAMPA — Alonso cruised into the final of its holiday tournament for the second consecutive year, dispatching King 68-35 Wednesday. It was another lopsided victory after the Ravens posted a 27-point win over Leto the opening night of the Buffalo Wild Wings Holiday Classic. They will face Robinson, which posted a 74-57 win over Armwood in the first semifinal.

Alonso (8-5), which will be seeking back-to-back titles when it takes on Robinson, jumped on King (2-10) from the opening tip, building a 17-2 lead in a sloppy first quarter that featured a career-high four 3-pointers from junior sharpshooter Greg Robinson.  

“When I first started playing basketball, that’s the first thing I did, practiced it all the time,” Robinson said. “(The) 3 is my role on the team, so that’s what I do.”

On a team that lacks a player taller than 6-foot-3, outside shooting and a swarming defense are its trademarks. Using a tireless fullcourt press, Alonso shut down the Lions. Robinson’s 16 points helped build a 20-point halftime advantage and the Ravens cruised the rest of the way.

Alonso junior guard Malachi Christopher, defending tournament MVP, led all scorers with 17 points. Efren Urena added 14.

The Knights used a bruising inside game to dominate a surprising Armwood (5-6) squad that had upset previously undefeated Wesley Chapel on the first day of the tournament.  

Wave after wave of low-post players gave Robinson (10-2) easy baskets or free throws as it built 38-26 lead at halftime. Ten of the 11 Knights who logged minutes scored.  

Senior Tre Leonard scored eight straight midway in the third quarter, part of his game-high 24, to build a 20-point cushion that grew down the stretch.  Mike Cholas added 13. Armwood was led by junior post player Marcus Hill, who finished with 19.

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