OCALA — Berkeley Prep won’t have another matchup with Wharton, but the Bucs did manage to stay alive in the 37th Annual Kingdom of the Sun at Ocala Vanguard High.
The Bucs pounded the host Knights 55-29 Wednesday, but their chance for a second matchup with Wharton on the season won’t occur, thanks to a 47-41 loss by the Wildcats to Orlando Evans.
In advancing to today’s consolation final at noon against Evans, Berkeley (8-3) held Vanguard to just three points in the opening quarter on 1-for-12 shooting and jumped out to a 13-point lead.
Nelson Agholor led Berkeley with 14 points, while Tyler Davis scored 12 off the bench. Reggie Barnes grabbed 11 rebounds for the Bucs, who held a 31-21 rebounding edge.
Berkeley has won five of its past seven games at the Kingdom of the Sun tournament in its past two appearances.
Wharton, which lost by one to the Bucs in the semifinals of the Berkeley Invitational this season, couldn’t get over the hump against Evans after pulling to within two points with five minutes to go.
From there, the Wildcats were hit with a 10-3 run and couldn’t get closer than five the rest of the way.
A.J. Astroth led Wharton with 17 points, while Xavier Owens finished with eight points and seven rebounds.
Lakewood was eliminated from the tournament after a 53-47 loss to Leesburg.
The Spartans (5-4) held the Yellow Jackets to just one point in the opening quarter, but Leesburg went on a 6-0 run over the final 1:50 and Lakewood never recovered.
Lakewood didn’t allow a point over the first 6:27 of the game, but Leesburg battled back and took its first lead on a basket by Robert Jones (14 points, 10 rebounds) with 2:33 left in the third quarter.
The Spartans were able to tie the game with 2:22 remaining, but Jones scored four points during the late burst for the Yellow Jackets to turn the tide for good.
Michael Singleton led Lakewood with 12 points, while Earnest Clayton scored 10.