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District boys basketball: Chargers shoot their way to a title

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Sat. February 11, 2012 | Bob Putnam | Email

ST. PETERSBURG — Shore­crest has transformed itself into a consistent district contender thanks to an unshakable confidence in the all-around games of Ricky Quiroz and Luke Blume, both of whom make 3-pointers from I-can’t-believe-he-shot-that range.

The two took turns shooting with an aggressive style that turned a third-quarter deficit into an 85-73 win over St. Petersburg Catholic in the Class 3A, District 9 final.

It is the Chargers’ third straight district title.

“This is who we are,” Chargers coach Daryl Blume said. “We’re always looking for the 3-point shot.”

Shorecrest made sure-footed 3-pointers and off-balance 3-pointers. It tossed them in from the corners and from the wings, and the shots kept falling like anvils on the heads and hopes of the Barons.

Most of those long-range shots came from Blume, who scored a team-high 27 points on nine 3-pointers, including some what-the-heck heaves that helped Shorecrest outscore SPC 27-14 in the fourth quarter.

“(SPC) was face guarding Ricky and leaving Luke with more open shots,” Daryl Blume said. “Luke wasn’t hitting them for stretches. But he hit three in a row in the fourth.

“And that really gave us some momentum.”

For a while, it appeared as if the Barons’ Ryan Green was going to beat Shorecrest by himself. Racing past defenders, Green either scored on layups or got fouled. He led all scorers with 31 points, including 15-of-19 from the line.

In the fourth quarter, the Chargers were intent on denying Green the opportunity to work more magic. That helped the Chargers break open a close game in the final two minutes.

“Ryan was killing us for most of the game,” Daryl Blume said. “But we put in Jake Brandenburg to help shut him down, and he did that down the stretch.”

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