TAMPA — St. Petersburg Catholic rebounded from a slow first half to overpower Academy of the Holy Names 55-45 in a Class 3A, District 11 semifinal. Wednesday's victory propels the Barons into a third match against rival Tampa Catholic, which won both regular-season meetings.
St. Petersburg Catholic had an early lead but fell apart near the end of the first half. The Jaguars picked off two passes just before the half as they tied the game at 18, closing a 16-10 gap.
The Barons regained the lead right away in the third period, nearly matching their point total from the first half with 16. Jerica Coley had 16 second-half points.
Tampa Catholic jumped out to a 21-6 lead over Berkeley Prep after the first quarter, and added 22 more in the second. The Bucs never closed the gap, posting 11 and 12 in the third and fourth quarters.
Sarah Brennan led all scorers in the first half with 16. She finished with a game-high 25. Jalan Wishik led the Bucs with 13 first-half points, including a pair of 3-point baskets. Berkeley trailed 43-21 at the half.
"My big two, Collette (Eule) and Sarah, they got the job done," Crusaders coach Nancy Kroll said.
Eule scored 18 points and grabbed five rebounds.
"I keep telling the girls, we need to stay focused, play our game and keep Coley off the offensive board," Kroll said about the rematch. "We played very well in the first quarter the last time we played them."