WESLEY CHAPEL — Anclote fans started cheering in the third quarter Monday, thinking maybe the Sharks could come back. Their players were finally hitting shots and climbed into double digits.
It wasn’t enough for a comeback. The Wildcats defeated the Sharks 53-28 after taking a seven-point lead in the first quarter and never relinquishing it.
“We got off to a good start because we played great defense,” Wesley Chapel coach Doug Greseth said. “Defense is what won it for us.”
Anclote slowly warmed up but never came close to catching up. The Sharks scored just eight points in the first half.
With 34 seconds remaining in the third, the Wildcats’ Brian Rodriguez held the ball on his hip at halfcourt, content to run out the clock. The Sharks slapped the ball out of his hand and drew a foul on Drew Driscoll, but neither team scored again in the quarter.
A few fans wondered if Wesley Chapel would continue to shoot in the fourth. The Wildcats did, outscoring Anclote 11-8.
Carson Emery led the Wildcats in points, 3-pointers and free throws, finishing with 16 points. Riyan McCrary had 12 points, and Rodriguez had 10.
Ty Carter led the Sharks with 11 points. Shy Carter contributed six.
Going into the matchup, Greseth emphasized the need to stop the Sharks’ inside players. He added that getting inside was crucial.
“We played with the kind of tempo we want to be playing with,” Greseth said.