CLEARWATER — Tampa Catholic senior Kevin Knox broke the Hillsborough County all-time scoring record with his 29-point performance as the Crusaders knocked off Berkeley Prep 72-57 to capture the Class 5A, District 9 crown on Friday night at Clearwater Central Catholic.
Entering the game only seven points shy of the record held by Russell Evans (Plant City), Knox passed him in the second quarter. With 15 points at the half from Knox and eight from junior guard Tim Carter, Tampa Catholic led 35-29 at the break.
Berkeley Prep (18-11) did all it could but Knox and his group proved to be too much for the Buccaneers.
"We know how good Kevin is, but for us to do what we want to do as far as advancing you got to have a good cast around him," coach Don Dziagwa said. "We've always emphasized that. He's been great about it, too. He knows that his job is to try to make his teammates better."
Bucs junior forward Zach Mathis provided a spark plug for his group throughout with a team-high 26 points. He knocked down four 3s, including two in the opening quarter.
But the story of the game was about the cast around Knox. Carter, a transfer from Tallahassee Rickards finished with 21 points as he attacked the basket at will. 13 of his points in the second half as he started to get going.
"One of my assistants said maybe this was really going to ignite Tim," Dziagwa said. "He's a good player and we've known he's a good player. Not the best outside shooter, but athletic. Today, we thought he took the ball to the hole and made them guard him. He's hard to guard when he's doing things like that."
Carter along with junior guard Tai Strickland (10 points) and freshman forward Alijah Harrison (seven points) provided the cast that Dziagwa was referring to.
Tampa Catholic will host Fort Myers Bishop Verot (15-12) Thursday night in the region quarterfinal. On the flip side, the Bucs must travel to play the Community School of Naples (22-5).