TAMPA — Wharton used strong finishes to both halves to defeat Alonso 54-44 Wednesday night.
After a tightly contested first quarter, Wharton went on a 14-4 run in the second to extend its lead and gain some breathing room. The Wildcats continued their strong play and took a 26-18 lead into halftime.
But Alonso would not fold as the Ravens cut the lead to two to start the third quarter. Bassel Harfouch led the Ravens with 13 points.
The game remained close deep into the fourth quarter, but then Xavier Owens took over. Leading 41-38 Owens scored two straight baskets to extend the Wharton lead to seven. Then, after an Alonso miss, Owens converted a fastbreak layup plus the foul to put the game away.
The Wildcats have been carried by their seniors all season, and Wednesday was no different. They combined to score 50 of the Wildcats' 54 points. Owens led the way with 19 and A.J. Astroth added 15.
Wharton will play Plant on Friday for the 6A-8 district championship.
Plant blew out Bloomingdale 64-38, despite losing Michael Frazier for the second half. He was forced out of the game after getting a large gash after bumping heads with a Bloomingdale player. Frazier still led all scorers with 16.