TAMPA — Averaging 21 points, 12 rebounds and six blocks a game, Tampa Prep 6-foot-9 sophomore forward Juwan Durham commands the bulk of the attention from opposing defenses.
Against Jesuit during the final day of the Berkeley Basketball Invitational, Durham was routinely double- and triple-teamed, taking him out of the Terrapins' offensive plans.
Enter Tampa Prep junior guard Michael Fridella, who ran the offense efficiently, drove to the basket effectively and hit big shots when needed. Fridella led all scorers with 16, including four 3-pointers, to help Tampa Prep (12-2) defeat Jesuit (10-6) 56-40 on Saturday.
"We were the most excited for this game than we've been for any other game," Fridella said. "… It was one of the most exciting games I've ever played."
Fridella hit a pair of 3-pointers in the first quarter to give the Terrapins a 15-12 lead. Up 26-21, Tampa Prep went on a 6-0 run to close out the half, freshman Amari Goulbourne hitting back-to-back shots in the final 90 seconds for a 32-21 advantage.
Tampa Prep pushed the lead to 15 after three, but Jesuit turned up the pressure defensively and forced turnovers. The Tigers got within seven with 4:20 remaining on three free throws by Daniel Darst and Rey Riveros' jumper. Durham then hit a basket, Goulbourne made two free throws and Durham hit again to put the Terrapins back up comfortably.
"Anytime you can score when the wheels are coming off, it just adds more pressure for them," Tampa Prep coach Joe Fenlon said.
Goulbourne had 12 points and Durham added 10 with nine rebounds. Jesuit was led by Darst's 14 points.
Berkeley Prep suffers first loss of season
North Carolina signee Joel Berry made 11 of 12 free throws and scored 31 as Lake Highland Prep (13-3) handed the Bucs (14-1) their first defeat, 62-54.
The Bucs led 18-11 after one quarter but made only one basket and scored four points in the second. Tampa Prep senior forward Justin Gray, a Texas Tech commitment, left the game midway through that quarter with concussionlike symptoms and did not return. In his absence, Craig Bowman and Jacob Mathis each scored 17.
Lake Highland Prep, which led 31-22 at halftime, built the lead to 13 early in the third, but Berkeley Prep cut it to one on a 3-pointer from Mathis.
Twice, Berkeley Prep was within two points in the fourth quarter. Gray, however, made all eight of his free throws and had 16 points in that period to keep the Bucs at bay.
"I was real proud of the guys for the way they battled back," Berkeley Prep coach Bobby Reinhart said.
Tampa Catholic 84, Ransom Everglades 64: The Crusaders buried Ransom Everglades under a barrage of 3-pointers to go undefeated at the Berkeley Prep event a week after being shut out at the MaxPreps Holiday Classic.
Thomas Dziagwa hit seven 3-pointers and scored 30 for Tampa Catholic (12-5), which led 22-18 after the first quarter and pulled away throughout. Sam Harris (six 3-pointers) scored a season-high 32.
Other games: Jeff Merton scored a game-high 24 to keep Community School of Naples perfect at 15-0 with a 63-55 victory over Lakeland Kathleen.
Gulliver Prep freshman Cody Bowes hit a running 8-footer at the buzzer to lift the Raiders (8-7) to a 50-48 victory over Sarasota Cardinal Mooney.