WESLEY CHAPEL — With nowhere to go late in the fourth quarter and Pasco applying an ample amount of pressure while down by four, Wesley Chapel guard Chris Parra was double-teamed and seemingly about to turn over the ball.
But instead of panicking, Parra calmly stepped back and took a fadeaway jumper over a couple Pirates defenders with 39 seconds left. That jumper helped Wesley Chapel pull away and defeat rival Pasco 47-42 to advance to tonight's Class 4A, District 7 title game versus Hudson, which defeated Anclote 56-45.
"We knew Pasco was going to come back against us," Wesley Chapel coach Doug Greseth said. "(Pasco) has been doing it all year. Chris did a great job down the stretch. We're going to have to play our best game to win tomorrow night."
Pasco fought back from a 16-point deficit in the third quarter.
The Pirates (9-13) took a brief 13-12 lead midway through the second quarter but the Wildcats (13-14) put together a 13-3 run ,going into halftime led by sophomore Stefan Bayne's five points.
A hard foul to Hakeeme Ishmar (15 points) in the third energized the Pirates to fight their way back throughout the final period, with Pasco eventually grabbing a 42-40 lead with 2:58 to go.
But Parra (25 points, six steals) sealed the Pirates' fate in the final minute.
In the early game, Hudson (19-7) got by Anclote (10-14), behind 16 points from junior point guard Jamal Branco, who fouled out with 2:05 remaining. The Cobras held off the Sharks to advance and face Wesley Chapel.
"It was definitely difficult to watch the final couple minutes," Branco said. "(Anclote) knocked us out last year in districts, so that played a major motivation factor in beating them tonight."