ST. PETERSBURG — Big nights from Brady Grimm and Tyee Johnson helped Shorecrest beat Clearwater Central Catholic 87-74 on Saturday in the Class 3A, District 9 championship game.
Grimm and Johnson scored 35 and 23 points, respectively, and their play staved off the Marauders’ comeback.
Shorecrest (18-4) will host Bradenton Christian in a region quarterfinal on Thursday while CCC will travel to face Sarasota Cardinal Mooney.
The Chargers, who had already beaten CCC twice this season, jumped to a 7-0 lead. They smothered the Marauders early , making it difficult for them to cross midcourt. As a result, CCC took some quick shots that were off the mark.
But trailing by 21 in the second period, CCC went on a 12-point run. By halftime, the Marauders trailed 48-37.
They closed the gap some more in the third quarter, thanks to solid inside play by Conner Lusnia and John Kieler. Even when baskets didn’t fall, they frequently made it to the foul line. At one point, CCC trailed just 54-51, and 63-58 at the end of the period.
But the Chargers re-established a double-digit lead as Johnson hit 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, including one that gave Shorecrest a 74-61 lead late. Grimm, who scored most of his points slashing to basket for layups, added 16 points in the fourth.
“We weathered the storm,” Shorecrest coach Daryl Blume said. “Brady and Tyee came up big.”
The Marauders’ Justus Reed, Andrew Murphy, Kieler and Lusnia reached double figures.