ST. PETERSBURG — These have been heady times for Calvary Christian, ranked No. 7 in the Times Super 7 with a school-record 8-0 start.
It seemed so easy for the Warriors, especially considering they are led by four highly regarded freshmen whose careers have known only success.
Thursday, Calvary Christian faced its toughest challenge, undefeated Shorecrest in a battle for first place in Class 3A, District 9.
The Chargers played the role of the heavyweight, landing the biggest blows, mostly from the perimeter, to cruise to a 73-49 victory.
"Calvary has a lot of freshmen, but they didn't play like it," Shorecrest coach Daryl Blume said. "They were tough. We played unselfish and just kept getting after it."
The Chargers (8-0) were not bothered by the Warriors' physical play. Nor was Shorecrest unnerved by its ragged play at the start of the second half, which enabled Calvary to cut the deficit to 11 twice.
Relying on its veteran leadership, the Chargers hit layups, shot over the defense from long range and blitzed Calvary with transition to turn a close game into a rout.
The player who has made the biggest impact on Shorecrest is Brady Grimm, who transferred from East Lake in the offseason. The junior scored a team-high 28, including two 3-pointers.
"We were looking forward to playing a team like this because they were undefeated," Grimm said. "It just made us want to play extra hard. The big thing was we were able to grab the momentum early."
Grimm's play helped set up teammates for wide-open shots. The biggest benefactor was Kenny DeVaul, who had 15 points, all on 3-pointers.
The outside shooting helped Shorecrest build a 38-19 halftime lead. The Warriors cut it to 49-33 by the end of the third but got no closer.
Eddie Williams led the Warriors with 14 points.