Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Boys basketball: Tampa Prep beats Boca Ciega to win Northeast tourney

ST. PETERSBURG — Tampa Prep coach Joe Fenlon hoped his team's hot shooting and stifling defense would continue in the final of the Northeast Christmas Invitational on Saturday night. Boca Ciega coach Randy Shuman hoped his team's habit of starting slowly would end.

Only Fenlon got his wish.

The Terrapins blitzed the Pirates with 40 first-half points, including eight 3-pointers, then held on to win 71-61.

"Going into the (Friday semifinal against Wharton), we could've come out of here with two losses," Fenlon said. "This was a very strong field. So to win this is very nice. Collectively, we had guys step up.

"You never know who it's going to be from game to game."

Against Boca Ciega (14-2), it was senior guard Josh Heath. He scored a team-high 17 points before fouling out with three minutes to play. Heath was named the tournament's most valuable player.

But the real catalyst was senior guard Andy Fullerton. Fullerton drilled all four first-half 3-pointers he attempted, including three in the first quarter that gave Tampa Prep (15-0) the lead. After the first quarter, the Terrapins led 19-11, and nine of those points were from Fullerton.

The lead continued to grow in the second quarter behind two 3-pointers from Heath, one from Ephraim Lavey and another from Fullerton. By halftime, the Terrapins led 40-18 and looked in control.

"We've just been notorious this year for slow starts," Shuman said. "It got to us tonight. You can't spot them 22 points. We just dug ourselves a big hole. You're not going to come back against good teams when you do that. We have to figure it out."

Boca Ciega did not give up, however.

Five minutes into the third quarter, it trailed by 22 but slowly chipped away. It ended the quarter on an 11-0 run that cut the lead to 47-33. During that run, Dallas Moore got hot and made three jumpers, including a 15-footer at the buzzer to take momentum into the fourth quarter.

"Usually, the third quarter is our best quarter," Fenlon said. "But we let them back into the game in the third quarter."

The Pirates continued to hang around and cut the lead to 10 thanks to a Joe Lampley basket, a technical foul on Tampa Prep and a 3-pointer from Moore. Moore ended with a game-high 29 points.

The lead was cut to 61-54 midway through the fourth quarter when Moore hit a 3-pointer from almost 10 feet behind the line.

The closest the Pirates got was six points, when Moore converted two free throws after another Terrapins technical foul. But the Terrapins were able to break Boca Ciega's press and get easy layups to put the game away.

"We fought back," Shuman said. "We played hard. It's almost like the guys are thinking, 'Hey, we might lose.' And then they start to play. Well, sometimes it's too late to do that."

Fullerton said he figured the game would play into his 3-point shooting strength.

"It was going to be a fast-paced game, and when it's like that, I can get some (3-point) looks," Fullerton said. "Josh (Heath) is good at finding me. I just had to knock them down."

Aside from Heath, Lavey and Bern­hard Woodside were named to the all-tournament team. Boca Ciega's Michael Clark and Moore also were all-tournament selections. Clark had 17 points for the Pirates.

Double-digit scorers for Tampa Prep were Juwan Durham, who had 13 points, and Fullerton and Lavey, who had 12.

Rodney Page can be reached at

Boys basketball: Tampa Prep beats Boca Ciega to win Northeast tourney 12/29/12 [Last modified: Sunday, December 30, 2012 12:00am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Tiger Woods says medication, not alcohol, led to DUI arrest in Florida

    Public Safety

    Players arriving for a tournament this week at Muirfield Village might notice a framed picture of Tiger Woods with a resplendent smile and bright red shirt. He's posed there with the trophy, an image that embodies the excitement he once brought to golf.

    This image provided by the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office on Monday, May 29, 2017, shows Tiger Woods. Police in Florida say Tiger Woods was been arrested for DUI.  [Palm Beach County Sheriff's office via AP]
  2. Four key games that could decide Bucs' success in 2017


    The Bucs finished so close to making the playoffs in 2016 -- literally flip-flop the last two results and have them beat the Saints and lose to the Panthers and they're in as a wild card with the same 9-7 record -- that it's difficult to say with any certainty what will happen in the 2017 season.

    Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston, shown celebrating a touchdown against the Giants in 2015, will face New York again this fall in Week 4 in Tampa.
  3. Frank Deford wrote with sincerity, giving depth to complicated sports figures

    Human Interest

    Frank Deford practically invented the notion of multimedia: He exported his voice to radio, TV and film, and if you didn't know him you might have thought he was an actor, because he wore purple suits and looked like Clark Gable. But Frank, who died Sunday at age 78, was a writer above all things, and an important …

    In a 1991 photo, Frank Deford holds a proof of The National Sports Daily, of which he was editor and publisher [Associated Press]
  4. Clarity coming this week on Florida Gators, Malik Zaire


    After months of speculation, we could finally get some clarity this week on the Florida Gators and graduate transfer quarterback Malik Zaire.

    SEC flags outside the hotel of last year's spring meetings in Destin. This year's meetings could have a huge impact on the Florida Gators' season.
  5. Jose De Leon sent back to minors after helping Rays win


    RHP Jose De Leon worked 2 2/3 innings to get the win in his Rays debut Monday and then was optioned back to Triple-A Durham.

    De Leon was brought up to provide length and depth in the bullpen after the Rays played 15 innings on Sunday, and he did that, allowing three runs on four hits while throwing 69 …