ST. PETERSBURG — Led by senior Luke Blume’s 31 points, Shorecrest made school history Saturday night, reaching its first state final four.
The Chargers relied on their long-distance shooting to roll past Fort Myers Evangelical Christian 86-68 in the Class 3A region finals.
Shorecrest dropped eight 3-pointers in the first half to build a 46-27 lead. After Evangelical Christian closed to 21-17 in the second quarter, the Chargers reeled off 10 in a row en route to a 15-2 run highlighted by Johnny Koenig and Jake Brandenburg’s back-to-back 3s.
Shorecrest created space for its players all night, moving the ball inside, then kicking it out to the shooters. The team finished with 12 3-pointers, including seven by Blume.
After a 10-0 third-quarter run put the Chargers up by 28, the Sentinels hit four 3s of their own to cut the lead in half, bringing them within 62-48.
Shorecrest’s Rick Quiroz, who finished with 14 points, scored nine in the final quarter. Two other Chargers finished in double figures, including Koenig (12) and Jay Joyer (14).
Shorecrest coach Daryl Blume said his team would need to play better defense to move forward in the playoffs.
But as this was a night for celebration, he acknowledged a tremendous team effort, including those by role players and one who was particularly special.
“Everybody played well,” Blume said, beaming. “I’m pretty proud of my son.”