ST. PETERSBURG — Before Bishop McLaughlin had a chance to take a breath, the game against Tampa Prep was over as the Terrapins jumped out 17-0 Monday and never looked back, winning the Keswick Suncoast Classic 61-28.
Jay Bowie scored 12 and grabbed eight rebounds and earned Most Valuable Player honors as Tampa Prep (13-0) won its third championship in a row.
"Our entire team effort and the intensity we bring to the table fuels our defense, our offense, our rebounding, you name it," Tampa Prep coach Joe Fenlon said.
The Terrapins' full-court pressure resulted in eight steals in the first three minutes.
Bishop McLaughlin (10-1) got on the board when Chris Congemi sank a layup on the break.
The Hurricanes were able to muster only one more point in the quarter.
Tampa Hoops Classic
If it were up to Orlando Olympia coach Mark Griseck, the Titans would accept an invitation to the Tampa Hoops Classic every year.
In this event, they've been perfect.
With a 73-63 victory in the semifinals at the Sun Dome over Gainesville, the top-ranked team in Class 5A, Olympia — No. 1 in 6A — improved to 7-0 all-time in the second-year event. The Titans will defend their 2007 title at 8:30 tonight against Chicago North Lawndale, a 53-47 winner over Cincinnati Princeton.
"I think we're a little confident here," Griseck said.
Against the Purple Hurricanes (9-2), Olympia (9-2) exhibited offensive balance and defensive intensity that serves teams well in the postseason.
Shooting guard Dexter Fields, led the Titans with a game-high 23 points. Sherwood Brown added 15. Guard Anthony Nwadigo scored 17 for Gainesville.
• North Lawndale (8-1) looked sharp, holding Princeton to 36 percent shooting from the field. Forward Jermaine Winfield led North Lawndale with 17 points and eight rebounds. Jordan Sibert had 16 in a losing effort.
• Clearwater (10-1) advanced to the fifth-place game with a 66-60 win over Brooklyn (N.Y.) Thomas Jefferson. The Tornadoes got 17 points and 11 rebounds from junior Okaro White. Regan O'Rourke added 15 points. Thomas Jefferson was 12-of-35 from the foul line.
• Berkeley Prep (8-3) won its second straight game, beating Oak Ridge (Tenn.) 73-71.
• Olympia's William Green won the event's slam dunk contest. North Lawndale's Zilijan Jones was the 3-point champion.
Keith Niebuhr, Times staff writer