CLEARWATER — Berkeley Prep knew the Strawberry Crest boys basketball team likes to play an uptempo game, but the Bucs decided to set the pace against the Chargers even faster.
As a result, Berkeley Prep routed Strawberry Crest 75-49 in Saturday's final of the Bright House tournament hosted by Clearwater as event MVP Marshall Holmes scored a game-high 23 points.
The Chargers stayed close, trailing just 13-12 going into the second period, but the Bucs pulled away as the offense started to find its rhythm and the defense clamped down.
"We actually had a small lineup in there (in the second quarter), and we ran some three-quarter court traps," Bucs coach Bobby Reinhart said. "They (Strawberry Crest) like to play fast, but I think we got them playing faster than they were comfortable with."
The Bucs went on a 5-0 run to start the second period, and then the 3-pointers started falling through. Senior Aaron Hannon hit one, sophomore Eric Reintgen hit another and junior Marshall Holmes hit two more. The Bucs ended the second period on a 12-4 run and led 38-24.
Berkeley Prep picked up right where it left off in the second half. Holmes caught fire in the third period, scoring 12, including two more 3-pointers. Holmes was 4-for-5 from behind the arc.
"You could tell he (Holmes) was feeling it (Saturday night)," Reinhart said. "He's been our most consistent offensive player; he played really well."
By the end of the third period, the Bucs had stretched the lead to 24, and they refused to let the Chargers back in the game. When Reinhart sent in substitutes in the fourth and the Chargers went on a 4-0 run, Reinhart quickly put the starters back in and they finished strong.
Strawberry Crest got a gritty effort from senior Karel Hamilton, who led the Chargers in scoring with 13 and battled for every rebound and inbound pass until he fouled out with three minutes left to play. Senior Devin Diggs scored 12 for the Chargers.
In the tournament's consolation game, host Clearwater fell to Gainesville 60-53. Sophomore Rasim Avmet led the Tornadoes with 16 points and senior Ryan Ramirez had 12.
The all-tournament team also included Strawberry Crest's Diggs, Hamilton and Dominik Trigg, and Berkeley's N'Namdi Green, Justin Gray and Chris McWilliams.
Wrestling: Dunedin beat Countryside 51-27 in the semifinals but then the Falcons fell to Class A state runnerup Clay 62-6 to finish second in the Gulf Holiday Duals in New Port Richey. Countryside settled for fourth when it lost to Nature Coast 39-30 in the consolation final.