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LUTZ — When sleep does come to Wiregrass Ranch coach Jeremy Calzone, and those visions of Chamberlain senior Reggie Hart materialize, a skinny sophomore named Rashawn Fredericks may be lurking in the nocturnal backdrop.
A year after scoring 40 on the Bulls in the Class 7A, District 9 final, Hart went for 35 in Friday’s sequel. Yet it was Fredericks’ low-post assertion down the stretch that propelled Chamberlain to a 66-56 triumph at Steinbrenner High.
The victory gave Chamberlain (20-5) its third consecutive district title.
“Although Reggie scored 35,” Chiefs coach Christopher Snyder said, “quick glance, without watching the tape, Rashawn Fredericks is the MVP of this game.”
A 6-foot-4, 150-pounder, Fredericks (16 points) converted three entry passes into six points and pinned a Bulls layup attempt against the glass during a 10-0 Chiefs run to close out the game. Hart had the other four points, converting all four his free throws in the final 1:34.
“(Fredericks) was the recipient because we were bringing so much attention to Reggie,” Calzone said.
The late spurt capped a dominant second half by the Chiefs, who opted to utilize their post advantage in the second half after trying to match jump shots with Wiregrass Ranch early on and paying for it.
A 12-0 third-quarter run, capped by Fredericks’ basket off a Hart alley-oop, gave Chamberlain a 48-43 lead.
“Settling for jump shots is not our game,” Hart said. “Attacking the basket is what we’re way more successful at, so that’s why (Snyder) got mad at us.”
The Bulls tied the score at 50 on Elijah Blackman’s 3-pointer, then tied it again at 56-all on Ricky Ramirez’s inside basket before going scoreless the last 21/2 minutes.
The end stood in stark contrast to the outset, when the Bulls flourished in their quick-shot tempo and drained five of their nine 3-pointers in the first quarter. Senior Chris Parra (17 points) had five treys before fouling out in the waning moments — when nothing would fall for the Bulls.
Senior Rico Kerney added 14 for Wiregrass Ranch (20-7).
“I thought we did everything right tonight, we played great defense,” Calzone said. “Unfortunately, we just stopped making shots.”
6A-7: Reynolds leads Wildcats’ late push
VALRICO — Sir Patrick Reynolds got the message and Wharton won the Class 6A, District 7 championship.
Reynolds ignited a 12-0 fourth-quarter burst with seven of his game-high 23 points as top-seeded Wharton (22-4) pulled away from No. 2 Alonso 71-61.
Alonso (15-12), which built three early eight-point leads and remained in front for most of three quarters, couldn’t sustain the Wharton blitz.
The Wildcats’ surge started with a Virgil Crump trey that tied the game at 43 with five minutes remaining. Reynolds followed with back-to-back layups — one on a three-point play — and the Wildcats never looked back.
“The last five minutes, my team told me to put them on my back,” Reynolds said. “So I did what I had to do.”
C.J. McGill added 22 points. Wharton’s defense forced 19 turnovers, resulting in 24 points, and the Wildcats got 20 points on 25 free-throw attempts.
“(Wharton) is so well-coached and you don’t want to fall behind those guys,” Alonso coach Todd Price said. “I think it was more what (Wharton) did down the stretch than our kids not necessarily making plays.”
Alonso’s Malachi Christopher (19 points) had to be carried off the court with cramps after fouling out with three minutes left. Jahkeal Samuel contributed 15 points.
6A-11: Sickles holds off Armwood's late charge
TAMPA — After trailing the entire game Friday, Armwood stormed back to take a one-point lead with just a minute left. But it just wasn’t enough as Sickles claimed the Class 6A, District 11 crown with a 49-44 win at Leto.
Early foul trouble came back to haunt Armwood with Marcus Hill on the verge of fouling out before the second half even began. The Gryphons won it at the free-throw line, shooting 7-for-12 with just a single field goal in the fourth quarter.
“We spread the ball around in the fourth quarter probably a little too early,” said Gryphons coach Renaldo Garcia. “That allowed Armwood to extend their pressure out and force some turnovers. But our kids showed a lot of resilience and kept fighting.”
The Gryphons missed nearly 70 percent of their shots, including 5-of-17 in the second half. Armwood completed just under 50 percent, hitting 20 baskets on 41 attempts.
The Gryphons were in control most of the game, building their biggest lead just minutes into the third after back-to-back 3s from Brett Westwood put them up 28-18. Armwood’s Vontrey Hill and Marcus Hill kept pace with a combined 10 points, but a 3-point shot at the third-quarter buzzer from Dan Harris gave Sickles a 39-29 lead.
Then the Hawks came alive, disrupting Sickles’ ability to play keep away, forcing steals and grabbing 11 of the team’s 19 rebounds.
With Marcus Hill in foul trouble, Armwood coach Jeff Pafunda let loose Jarred Anderson and Corey Johnson, who used turnovers and solid rebounding to add seven points in front.
Yet the Gryphons survived with clutch rebounds, forcing the Hawks to foul.
Dan Harris finished with 19 points and five rebounds for the Gryphons (24-4). Vontrey Hill had 14 points and eight rebounds for the Hawks (18-9). Marcus Hill added 12 points, while Westwood finished with 10 points thanks to a trifecta of 3-pointers in the third.
“We got to take care of the basketball,” Garcia said. “When they extended their pressure out, we made a couple bad passes and that really gave them some energy. But our kids got some pressure themselves and got some steals, and I’m happy with the way we finished.”
5A-11: Jesuit cruises
On Wednesday night, Jesuit smothered Middleton, beating the Tigers by 42 points in the Class 5A, District 11 semifinals.
The Tigers followed that with an equally dominant performance Friday night, blowing out Lennard 81-42. The Tigers (26-1) finished with an unblemished district record.
Devin Harris poured in 19 points, Travis Johnson added 15 and Jack Fleming 14 for the Tigers, who shot 60 percent from the floor.
With the score tied at 8-all, Jesuit began to impose its will on Lennard. The Tigers went on to outscore the Longhorns 43-14 the rest of the half and forced 11 turnovers.
“Our No. 1 focus is on the defensive end,” Jesuit coach Neal Goldman. “It has been all year. When we play great defense it leads to good offensive for us. …
“I feel that we’re playing our best basketball at the right time. But we also understand that from this point on the competition is only going to get tougher. We’ve got to make sure we play better each and every game as the opponent get harder.”
Class 7A, District 8: After going two generations without a district title, the East Bay Indians suddenly are forming a banner-hanging habit.
The Indians (20-5) got a double double from 6-foot-3 junior Anton Crutcher (10 points, 13 rebounds) in a 58-43 triumph against Brandon in Friday’s final. The triumph gave East Bay its second title in a row after going 41 years without one.
Sophomore point guard Jonathan Jean had 17 points and seven assists, while guard Mike Washington scored 19 off the bench.
Class 4A, District 11: At Sarasota, sophomore Chris McWilliams hit one of two free throws with four seconds to play, clinching a 78-77 title game victory against Tampa Catholic and capping a furious second-half rally.
The Bucs (20-7), playing without top scorer Justin Gray (ankle), clinched their third consecutive title, but only after trailing by as many as 18 in the first half.
“The silver lining, which we told them at halftime, was that there would be plenty of possessions to get back in the game, said
Berkeley coach Bobby Reinhart, whose team trailed by 12 at intermission.
“The pace of game TC likes, we knew we’d get our fair share of possessions.”
With the score tied at 77-all, TC took the ball with roughly 70 seconds remaining and played for the last shot before committing a baseline turnover, setting up a foul on McWilliams and his ensuing game clincher.
Jacob Mathis (22 points), Marshall Holmes (18) and N’Namdi Green (17) led Berkeley. Isiah Thomas’ 24 led TC (18-8).
Class 3A, District 8: At Seffner, 11 Tampa Prep players scored in the reigning 3A state champions’ 72-24 semifinal rout of Carrollwood Day.
Senior Andy Fullerton’s 19 points — including six 3-pointers — led Tampa Prep (24-2), which faces host Seffner Christian in tonight’s 7 p.m. final. Freshman Juwan Durham added 14.
The Crusaders (14-12) got 22 points from Barrett Swartz and went 13-for-17 from the free-throw line in a 56-50 win against Brooks DeBartolo.
Class 2A, District 8: Tampa Bay Christian (20-1) dominated all night to roll to a 78-40 win over Academy at the Lakes at Citrus Park Christian. The first two meetings were relatively close, but TBC steam-rolled the Wildcats (14-12) from the start and held AATL to 20 percent shooting.
TBC’s standout junior forward, Dan Manzi, led the Rams’ ownership of the boards and finished with a game-high 19 points. Bryant Searcy (18 points), Majrle Ingraham (16) and Lynrick Moxey (15) all finished in double figures for TBC.
Correspondents Don Jensen, Mike McCollum and Michael Hinman contributed to this report.