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Boys basketball: Tampa Prep tops Tampa Catholic 69-59 for City of Tampa title

TAMPA — On a night when 6-foot-9 Tampa Prep freshman Juwan Durham was sidelined with the flu, the undefeated Terrapins' other key cogs were downright sick.

Point guard Josh Heath handled the pressure, 6-8 Furman signee Adonis Rwabigwi handled the paint, and 6-4 senior Ephraim "Fri" Lavey handled the catalyst on the other team.

The collaborative effort lifted Tampa Prep (11-0) to a 69-59 win against Tampa Catholic (8-2) in Saturday's final of the eight-team City of Tampa Championship. The Terrapins, reigning Class 3A state champs, have won the tournament five of the last six years.

"It's huge," said Heath, who finished with 18 points and was presented the Winston C. Davis Award as tournament MVP. "(Durham) happens to be our leading scorer right now. So to come out here and win a championship without him shows we're really good as a team."

Assuming the low-post slack was Rwabigwi, who finished with a double double (25 points, 18 rebounds, three blocks) and scored nine during a 27-4 run spanning the second and third periods.

After a mostly tight outset that included seven lead changes, the Terrapins finished with a 7-0 run for a 31-25 halftime lead. They capped a 20-4 run to open the second half with Andy Fullerton's 3-pointer.

Lavey, meantime, mostly neutralized Crusaders scoring leader Chivarsky Corbett. One night after scoring a TC-record 50 points against Sarasota Cardinal Mooney, Corbett scored 18 while being guarded by Lavey.

"Fri really kind of revels on big matchups like that," Terrapins coach Joe Fenlon said. "He embraces challenges, and I think he did a great job (Saturday), especially with Chivarsky coming off that 50-point performance. I think that probably helped him hunker down a little bit more."

In the third-place game, Sarasota Cardinal Mooney beat Robinson 65-47.

Chamberlain fell to Plant 69-58 in the fifth-place contest. The Panthers got double doubles from junior Andrew Sanders (20 points, 10 rebounds) and senior Sam Flagg (13 points, 10 assists).

Hillsborough topped Blake 52-46 in the seventh-place game.

Berkeley too quick for Strawberry Crest

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.

Strawberry Crest got a gritty effort from senior Karel Hamilton, who led the Chargers with 13 before he fouled out. Senior Devin Diggs scored 12 for the Chargers.

The all-tournament team included Strawberry Crest's Diggs, Hamilton and Dominik Trigg, and Berkeley's N'Namdi Green, Justin Gray and Chris McWilliams.

Times correspondent Andy Warrener contributed to this report.

Boys basketball: Tampa Prep tops Tampa Catholic 69-59 for City of Tampa title 12/22/12 [Last modified: Saturday, December 22, 2012 11:02pm]
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