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2A region basketball: Indian Rocks can't handle Tampa Prep

Indian Rocks Christian sophomore John Hogan, who finished with 11 points, runs into Tampa Prep defenders Ben Sever, left, and Devonte Morgan.

BRIAN CASSELLA | Times

Indian Rocks Christian sophomore John Hogan, who finished with 11 points, runs into Tampa Prep defenders Ben Sever, left, and Devonte Morgan.

TAMPA — The gym at Tampa Prep has always been a difficult place to play for Indian Rocks Christian.

Whether it's the layout of the stands with fans on only one side of the court, the lighting or, more likely, the opponent, the Golden Eagles never seem to bring their A game to the Terrapins' home court.

That trend continued Tuesday in IRC's 71-47 loss to Tampa Prep in a Class 2A region semifinal.

"It's always tough coming here," IRC coach Joe Frost said. "They don't lose very often here. …That's the homecourt advantage. That's why you win the districts, I guess."

Tampa Prep (25-4) hounded IRC defensively from the opening tip, denying the Golden Eagles good looks at the basket and challenging every pass.

"We couldn't hit a shot. I told them coming in we needed to hit six, seven, eight 3s tonight, just to stay in the game," Frost said. IRC made just two 3-pointers. "Their pressure kept us off of it."

Tampa Prep opened up a 10-point advantage six minutes into the game and led 17-10 after one.

The Terrapins' Jordan Heath hit a 3-pointer to start the second quarter and extend the lead to 10. IRC cut the deficit to single digits (24-15) with 2:35 left in the half after sophomore forward John Hogan (11 points) made a basket and was fouled. But that was as close as the Golden Eagles would get the rest of the night.

IRC ends its season with an 18-11 record.

"We worked hard, though. I'll take it," Frost said. "Sweet 16. The guys worked hard for it."

IRC senior Isaac McMillen scored his 1,000th career point in the last game of his high school career on a jumper from the free-throw line with 6:30 remaining in the fourth quarter.

McMillen needed eight points entering the Tampa Prep game. He had 11 to finish with 1,003 points.

Freshman forward Sean Culkin also had 11 points for the Golden Eagles.

Tampa Prep71
Indian Rocks Christian47

2A region basketball: Indian Rocks can't handle Tampa Prep 02/24/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 24, 2009 11:47pm]
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