Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

5A region basketball: Wesley Chapel knocks off Tampa Bay Tech

TAMPA — The scoreboard told anyone entering the gymnasium this fight was even entering the fourth quarter.

In reality, Wesley Chapel had won it back in the first.

Trailing by seven early and sensing his Wildcats needed the kind of jolt one might get from chugging a Red Bull, first-year coach Karim Nohra called a timeout. His voice could have ignited anything within the first three rows. His eyes opened wide and he demanded better work around the basket.

Suddenly his girls were back.

In the end, the Titans' season and two-year home win streak were history after Wesley Chapel took command and hunkered down defensively for a 43-34 victory. TBT (23-5), which lost to Wesley Chapel (26-2) in last year's region quarterfinal, was held to one field goal and just four points in the final eight minutes Tuesday night.

"I wanted the momentum to swing," Nohra said of the early timeout. "They were whooping and hollering and I figured I needed to bust that momentum."

Wesley Chapel broke loose in the fourth quarter, sparked by a steal and layup in the lane by forward Janelle Mills for a 34-30 lead. That was part of a 13-0 run that started in the third quarter.

The Wildcats surged ahead by nine after a pair of free throws from Shantel Houston, who finished with a game-high 17 points. TBT cut it to 39-34 after a three-point play by Leria Jenrette, who was held to four points.

The Titans had possession with an opportunity to cut the lead to two, but self-inflicted problems in the backcourt resulted in an out-of-bounds pass and another turnover with 52.6 seconds remaining.

"We let ourselves down," Titans coach Heather Glezen said. "They picked up their intensity level and we didn't respond to it. At the end, our youth took a toll on us."

Wesley Chapel scored the final four points.

Nohra, who compiled a 340-131 record at Tampa Catholic and Cambridge, acknowledged the unlikely return to the 5A region final in consecutive seasons. In addition to his late hire last summer, Wesley Chapel was playing with a new starting five. Under his guidance, the Wildcats have posted a record 26 wins and will host Lake Howell on Saturday.

"If you told me this back in August I would have told you you're on crack," Nohra said. "You would have taken all my money, my house, everything if you told me this team was going to the regional semifinal."

Wesley Chapel43
Tampa Bay Tech34

5A region basketball: Wesley Chapel knocks off Tampa Bay Tech 02/17/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 17, 2009 11:12pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Former Rays/current Cubs manager Joe Maddon featured on NBC Sunday news show

    Blogs

    Former Rays and current Cubs manager Joe Maddon will be featured on this week's "Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly" show at 7 p.m. on NBC, the Harry Smith interview covering not just Maddon's on-field accomplishments but his extensive efforts to help his hometown of Hazleton, Pa.

    "Here's what's so …

    Joe Maddon talking with NBC News' Harry Smith.
  2. For starters: Souza returns to lineup

    Blogs

     

  3. Ronde Barber: Want intimidation? Look at past Bucs teams

    Bucs

    Ronde Barber says these days "it's hard to find throwbacks, where you go, 'That guy is a badass.' Where do you find that now? It's such a show-off sport." (Times 2012)
  4. Rays blow lead in ninth, lose in 10 to Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Rays manager Kevin Cash liked the way Alex Cobb was competing Friday night. He liked the way the hard contact made by the Rangers batters went away after the second or third inning. So as the game headed toward the ninth, there was no doubt in Cash's mind that sending Cobb back to the mound was …

    Rays starter Alex Cobb can hardly believe what just happened as he leaves the game in the ninth after allowing a leadoff double then a tying two-run homer to the Rangers’ Shin-Soo Choo.