TAMPA — Throughout the season, Chamberlain coach Christopher Snyder talks about determination, want and desire. The Chiefs also have Hart.
Reggie Hart single-handedly ended Sickles' five-year district reign Friday night, converting a steal into a buzzer-beating layup as Chamberlain won the Class 5A, District 9 championship 45-43.
Eric Storts scored 26 for Chamberlain (22-2), but it was Hart's play that made the difference when Sickles (22-6) appeared to have the momentum. The Gryphons tied the game on a 3-pointer by Joseph Broner with 15 seconds remaining, then forced a Chamberlain turnover. With six seconds left and following a timeout, Broner threw an inbounds pass near midcourt toward Daniel Harris. But Hart made the steal and dribbled uncontested to the basket for the winner.
"I knew I could get the ball and make a play to win it," Hart said. "I didn't want to fail my team because I hadn't done well the whole game."
Hart finished with eight points as Chamberlain overcame a third-quarter, eight-point deficit.
"The team sacrificed and put the time in," Snyder said. "It just wasn't handed over. I may not have the best individual players. But in terms of talent, team and fighting for each other, they earned it."
Eric Floyd (11 points) and Rashawn Rembert (10) led Sickles.
"The Chamberlain kid made a great play (to win it)," Sickles coach Renaldo Garcia said.