TAMPA — Berkeley Prep held Tampa Catholic scoreless for the last 2:54 of their Class 4A, District 10 championship game, and Marshall Holmes made all four of his free throw attempts in that span as the Bucs edged the Crusaders 68-55 Friday.
It was the sixth straight year the teams played in the district championship game and it was Berkeley Prep's fourth victory in those games.
The Crusaders missed four potential go-ahead or tying shots down the stretch. They had the ball with a chance to win with 32 seconds left but never got a shot off. A bad pass carried Chivarsky Corbett out of bounds with 6 seconds left, eventually allowing Holmes to seal the victory at the line.
"It was a big statement game," said Bucs senior Justin Gray, who led all scorers with 26 points. "We play them four times every year, and it's tough every time. They had their runs, we had our runs, and in the end it came down to defense."
Berkeley Prep (24-3) expects a fourth meeting in the region semifinals next week. The teams have played four times two of the last three seasons. In four seasons on varsity, Gray has gone up against Tampa Catholic 13 times, winning 10.
Gray's dunk to start the fourth quarter, and a steal and a dunk by Craig Bowman capped a 12-2 run that gave the Bucs a 60-51 lead with 6:32 remaining.
But the Bucs only scored one more basket from the field the rest of the way, and Tampa Catholic (15-12) rallied.
The Crusaders scored 10 in just over a minute as Corbett (25 points) made a 3-pointer and Thomas Dziagwa converted a three-point play.
After 12 lead changes in the second half, Sam Harris scored to give TC its final lead at 65-64.
"It was a game of runs," said Berkeley Prep coach Bobby Reinhart. "Every time I felt somewhat comfortable … the next thing you know they're coming back and they take the lead."
5A-9: Jesuit downs Robinson for 3rd time
TAMPA — Defending state champion Jesuit overcame a two-point halftime deficit and beat Robinson 54-45 for the district championship.
The Tigers (18-8) beat the Knights (17-10) for the third time this season.
"It's tough to beat a team three times and they came out tough in the first half," said Jesuit forward Daniel Darst, who scored a game-high 26. "We had a very bad half, but we were only down by two."
Jesuit trailed until it finally went ahead with 1:40 left in the third quarter. Back-to-back 3-pointers by Christian Whidden, who last week broke the school record with nine, turned a 27-23 deficit into a 29-26 lead.
"Coach (Neal Goldman) always tells us, 'If you get a shot, take it,' " said Whidden, who scored 16.
Travis Forehand and Iyan Mitchell each scored 10 for Robinson. Mitchell's 3-pointer cut the deficit to 46-42, but the Knights never got closer.
Jesuit now has won a district title for all eight sports so far this season. The list includes five in the fall — bowling (club), cross country, football, golf and swimming; and three in the winter — basketball, soccer and wrestling.
3A-7: Brooks-DeBartolo drained 16 of 19 free throws down the stretch to edge Seffner Christian 47-43 in the semifinals and advance to the playoffs for the first time. The Phoenix will play Tampa Prep in today's district championship after the Terrapins' 64-33 win over Bishop McLaughlin.
"We're trying to build a tradition," first-year Phoenix coach Brian Reeves said. "We're extremely ecstatic about the win tonight."
Brooks-DeBartolo (19-7) and the Crusaders (16-10) were within four points of each other most of the game. Seffner Christian trailed by one with a minute left when Mike Obi stole the ball and sank two free throws to extend the lead. Obi and Brenden Huynh added two free throws each in the closing seconds to preserve the victory.
Obi (20 points), Jarred Anderson (13) and Huynh (eight) combined to score 41 of their team's 47 points.
In the other semifinal, host Tampa Prep (22-3) took a 16-point lead after the first quarter and dominated. Sophomore Juwan Durham led Tampa Prep with 20 points, and Michael Fridella scored nine.
2A-8: Bayshore Christian capped off a perfect district season with a 74-51 win over Canterbury at home in the district final. The Faith Warriors (23-3) outscored Canterbury 16-2 in the first quarter and coasted. Four Bayshore players finished in double figures: Josh Humphries (19 points), Greg Johnson (15), Eric Davis (14) and Matthew Eckermann (14). Hunter Coia led the Crusaders (13-11) with 24 points.
2A-7: Academy at the Lakes never trailed and cruised to a 54-25 road win over Cambridge Christian to secure the Wildcats' first district championship in program history. The Wildcats (15-10) led 20-7 at the half and made their free throws down the stretch to secure their fifth consecutive victory. Brandon White led the Lancers (17-8) with six points.
Staff writer Matt Baker and correspondent Steve Lee contributed to this report.