ORLANDO — Shane Larkin scored 18 points and Keenan Green added 11 points and nine rebounds as Dr. Phillips punched its ticket to Lakeland with a 64-49 victory over St. Petersburg on Saturday.
"It's really nice to see our hard work pay off," DP coach Anthony Long said. "I'm just really excited for the team to go down and experience the Lakeland Center and experience the whole event. "It's something special and I'm thrilled that they're going to have that opportunity."
After a shaky first quarter, the Dr. Phillips offense (26-5) found its flow in the second, using a 13-0 run to take a 37-18 lead into the half. The teams played even for the first five minutes of the quarter, then the DP defense clamped down and the floodgates opened on offense.
"Our defense has been brilliant this entire playoff run …and our defense was key to establishing that lead," Long said.
The Green Devils (23-7) started the second half with an 8-0 run and held DP scoreless for the first four minutes, but Green's layup on a feed from Larkin ended the run and brought the score to 39-26.
"We had way too many turnovers and we didn't shoot the ball well," Green Devils coach Chris Blackwell said. "Those are two things that we've done a pretty good job of before this game."
This was the Green Devils' best season since 1972, when they reached the state semis.