TAMPA — The Class 3A, District 11 boys basketball championship looked like it was going to come down to the wire Saturday as Berkeley Prep and Tampa Catholic went back and forth for the first 20 minutes.
Then Buccaneers senior Johnathan Gray took over.
Gray scored 21 of his game-high 29 in the second half to lead the Bucs to a 69-49 win.
Berkeley Prep (22-5) plays host to a region quarterfinal against Fort Myers Dunbar at 7 p.m. Thursday. Tampa Catholic (9-18) goes on the road to face Fort Myers Bishop Verot.
"He's been struggling a little bit, so I knew (Gray) was itching to play a good game," Berkeley Prep coach Bobby Reinhart said. "He just had a nice complete game."
Neither team led by more than five points until the Bucs started to pull away late in the third quarter after turning up their defensive pressure.
"I think we may have worn them down a little bit," Reinhart said. "We finally started converting off of some of their turnovers and kind of got in a comfort zone."
After combining for 39 points against St. Petersburg Catholic, Ian Ham and D.J. Williams were held to six combined points for the Crusaders (9-18).
Austin Suarez was the only other Berkeley Prep player to score in double figures, finishing 13.
Freshman Austin Aikens led Tampa Catholic with 15 points while Michael Matthews added 13 and David Gonzalez had 11.