Brooks DeBartolo drained 16-of-19 free throws down the stretch to edge Seffner Christian 47-43 in the Class 3A-7 semifinals and advance to the playoffs for the first time. The Phoenix will play Tampa Prep in today’s district championship after the Terrapins’ 64-33 win over Bishop McLaughlin.
“We’re trying to build a tradition,” first-year Phoenix coach Brian Reeves said. “We’re extremely ecstatic about the win tonight.”
Brooks DeBartolo (19-7) and the Crusaders (16-10) were within four points of each other most of the game. Seffner Christian trailed by one with a minute left when Mike Obi stole the ball and sank two free throws to extend the lead. Obi and Brenden Huynh added two more free throws each in the closing seconds to preserve the victory.
Obi (20 points), Jarred Anderson (13) and Huynh (eight) combined to score 41 of their team’s 47 points.
In the other semifinal, host Tampa Prep (22-3) took a 16-point lead after the first quarter and dominated the rest of the way.
All 13 Terrapins scored and played all four quarters. Sophomore Juwan Durham led Tampa Prep with 20 points, and Michael Fridella scored nine.