TAMPA — Fresh off a showdown with district rival Calvary Christian that kept its unbeaten record intact and having played up two classes and won against defending state champion Jesuit, Shorecrest Prep faced another stiff challenge Saturday at Berkeley Prep.
But it was the 4A Buccaneers who extended their impressive undefeated start to 6-0 with a dominating 62-41 victory over the 3A Chargers, who are now 8-1.
"We didn't play strong. We played a little scared tonight," Shorecrest coach Daryl Blume said. "I don't think they believed they could win it."
Berkeley Prep carried the play from the outset, taking a commanding 23-12 lead in the first quarter and extending it in each period after that. Starting strong and never letting up was the game plan drawn up by coach Bobby Reinhart.
"It's a team that you don't want to fall behind on," he said of Shorecrest. "We knew that we had to get a great effort. We were able to get out front early on and get some momentum and just hang onto it."
The Bucs displayed plenty of balance on offense with four players in double figures. Justin Gray had a team-leading 15 points with three teammates — Craig Bowman, Jacob Mathis and N'Namdi Green — each adding 11.
The Chargers got a game-high 18 points from Brady Grimm, and Jay Joyer, who fouled out, added 10.
While Berkeley Prep forced its opponent into numerous turnovers, Shorecrest did not help its cause much with poor free-throw shooting. The Chargers made just 6 of 19 from the line while the Bucs shot .500 (8-for-16) from the stripe.