TAMPA — The semifinals of the Craig Keeler Memorial tournament didn't offer much in the way of drama but it did accomplish one goal: setting up a final between two of the better teams in the county.
Plant and Tampa Catholic were on the winning side of lopsided victories Monday night, setting up a tournament championship game between squads that are off to a combined 23-2 start to the season.
Plant defeated Sarasota Christian 54-37 in one semifinal, followed by host Tampa Catholic thumping Chamberlain 74-33 in the other. Plant and Tampa Catholic tip off the final at 7:30 tonight.
"We're really looking forward to playing Plant in the championship," Tampa Catholic coach Nancy Kroll said. "They're (Plant) really having a good tournament. Plant is playing well."
That was on display in its win against Sarasota Christian.
The Panthers (10-1) got 21 points from Ganice Macho and 13 from Michelle Taylor and played solid defense to top Sarasota Christian. Plant led 26-12 at the half before a 19-8 third-quarter spurt helped seal the win.
Tampa Catholic, meanwhile, had an even easier time. The Crusaders (13-1) fell behind 4-0 to Chamberlain moments into their game.
But behind a stifling defense that forced Chamberlain into several early turnovers, Tampa Catholic outscored the Chiefs 40-9 for the rest of the first half to post a 40-13 margin by halftime.
A brief Chamberlain run made the score 43-20, but it was as close as Chamberlain would get.
Forward Colette Eule scored 12 of her 21 in the second half to lead three Crusaders in double figures. Sarah Brennan totaled 13 points and Micah Kroll poured in four 3-pointers on her way to 18 points.
Plant enters the final on a seven-game winning streak while Tampa Catholic has won eight in a row. Both teams' lone loss came courtesy of unbeaten Jefferson earlier this month.