TAMPA — Jesuit, the Class 5A defending state champion, and Class 3A Shorecrest squared off Tuesday in a battle of unbeatens. By the third quarter, the only question for the host Tigers, it seemed, was if Christian Whidden would break the single-game 3-point record.
He didn’t and, more surprisingly, Jesuit (2-1) could not hold onto a lead as the Chargers rallied for a 69-68 win.
“We’ve got a pretty good team, as you see, so we’re ratcheting up the schedule,” Shorecrest coach Daryl Blume said. “This is a pretty big notch. It shows we can compete with some of the better schools.”
Shorecrest (3-0) trailed by 10 early in the third quarter, but fought back with a 13-4 run in the third quarter and later took a 63-61 lead on an Aundre Fredericks layup that capped an 11-3 run in the final quarter. But Jesuit countered with Kyle Sahlsten’s 3-pointer for a 64-63 lead.
That’s when Brady Grimm took over by nailing a trey and following up with a steal and layup for a 68-64 lead. Grimm finished with 32 points, which included four treys, and the Chargers remained unbeaten despite Brent Fenlon’s layup at the buzzer.
Whidden scored a game-high 38, including seven 3-pointers to come within two of the school record.
The game was close early until Jesuit turned it up with long-range shooting to take a 34-28 halftime lead. The Tigers connected on seven of their 11 3-pointers before the break. Only Sahlsten, with two, joined Whidden with more than one.