Tonight at 7, St. Petersburg Catholic (20-4) at Tampa Catholic (26-2) will play in the second round of the Class 3A playoffs. It will be their fourth meeting this season with TC holding a 2-1 edge. The teams have scored the same amount of points in those games, leading one to believe tonight’s showdown might be close.
Here’s a recap of the first three rounds …
ROUND 3 (Feb. 5): TC won 67-66 in the district final, even though it once trailed by 16 in the third quarter and was behind by three with 5.5 seconds left with possession in SPC’s favor. TC tied it with a 3-pointer by Colette Eule, then won in overtime, but only after SPC turned the ball over with 3.6 seconds left. Jerica Coley of SPC led all scorers with 23, while Brittney Dunbar added 20. Sarah Brennan (21) and Meghan Keough (15) led the Crusaders.
ROUND 2 (Jan. 20) SPC won 71-63 to end TC’s 15-game win streak. Coley scored 29 points and added timely steals (six), rebounds (six), assists (four) and blocks (four). Forwards Dunbar (16 points) Annie Artise (13) also came up big for the Barons. TC had a 29-24 halftime lead only to see the Barons use a 10-1 run at the beginning of the second half on their way to a 49-43 lead at the end of the third quarter -- highlighted by Coley's NBA-range 3-pointer at the buzzer. Eule scored a team-high 28 for TC.
ROUND 1 (Dec. 11): TC won 68-61 despite 42 points from Coley. Coley was on her way to a record night, scoring 26 points in the first half to help the Barons build a 37-30 halftime lead. But the Crusaders went to a box-and-one at the start of the third quarter with sophomore center Star Steele and Keough handling most of the defensive duties. That’s when TC took control. Eule and Brennan each had 20 points, and Micah Kroll added 11.