TAMPA — So much for Jon Henson.
Of course, the 6-foot-9 center was one of the elite high school basketball players in the nation and helped lead Sickles to the region semifinals last year before taking his game to North Carolina.
But the Gryphons may have found the next player to take them to the playoffs.
Junior forward Rashawn Rembert scored a career-high 39 points, matching the school record set in 1999 by Justin Thompson, to lead Sickles to a convincing 68-36 win over Wiregrass Ranch in the SEBA Thanksgiving Classic at Berkeley Prep.
"Whoa, really?" Rembert said after the game when told of his total. "I was just trying to do whatever I could to help the team win."
And help he did as the humble, 6-foot-3 forward scored in every way possible — dunks, putbacks, three-pointers, midrange jumpers and free throws.
"We haven't seen guys that athletic up in our area," said the Bulls' 6-foot-9 senior center Eric Williams, who had 17 points. "He was tough to defend and just tough to play against."
Rembert has clearly emerged as one of the region's early stars after scoring 25 in Friday's 78-48 win over Ridgewood.
"Last year, with nine seniors on the team, he was kind of feeling his way around a bit and didn't want to step on anyone's toes," said Sickles coach Ronaldo Garcia, who was an assistant coach in 1999 when the 6-foot-5 Thompson set the school record. "When (Thompson) did it, it was mostly inside baskets but (Rashawn) demonstrated how versatile he is, scoring in so many different ways."
Berkeley Prep followed its win over King on Friday with an impressive showing against another public school, beating Class 6A Brandon 56-38.
"We're just beginning to get our basketball legs under us, and each game will get better and better for us," said sophomore guard Nelson Agholor, who led the Buccaneers with 21 points.
All five starters, including Agholor, just completed the football season for Berkeley Prep, and they have had only three days of basketball practice. Against the Eagles, the Buccaneers showed that the transition is in full swing as they changed a 24-24 tie at halftime into a 41-30 lead going into the fourth quarter thanks to nine points by Agholor in the period.
Wharton followed its 65-56 overtime victory against Orlando Evans on Friday with a 62-43 win over Ridgewood on Saturday. Damian Dixon scored 20 to lead the Wildcats.