ST. PETERSBURG — Shorecrest scored the first 25 points in the second quarter and played the second half under a running clock as the Chargers easily defeated Bradenton Christian 91-31 in Thursday's Class 3A region quarterfinal.
The Chargers were led by a 24-point effort from Brady Grimm and 21 points by Jay Joyer, who was honored after the game for being the school's first basketball player to have 1,000 career points and 1,000 career rebounds.
"It's a great accomplishment and it's been an honor to play for Coach (Daryl) Blume and be a part of this program," Joyer said. "I have great teammates and I share this with them because they made me a better player."
The 25-point run in the second quarter was marked by Joyer's tough inside presences and the sharp shooting of Grimm, Austin Hunt and Kenny DeVaul.
By the time the Panthers scored their first basket of the quarter it was 50-14 and the game was clearly out of reach.
"Obviously nights like this are just special because everything seemed to go right but this is a very good team," Blume said. "We've got the size and good ball handlers that can shoot and drive to the basket around him. Jay is content scoring his points off rebounds and whenever the opportunity arises."
Blume challenged his starters to close the show strong in the third quarter, and they responded with a 12-3 run highlighted by three dunks from Joyer to extend the lead to 64-19.
Cardinal Mooney 67, CCC 36: Clearwater Central Catholic went on a late-season run to qualify for the region playoffs. The Marauders' stay was short-lived as the Class 3A, District 9 runnersup fell to host Sarasota Cardinal Mooney.
"They're a really strong team, and they play defense on our guards well," CCC coach James Margarella said. "Their man-to-man pressure defense kept us from running any offense."
Behind the play of Justin Reed, who finished with 16 points and nine rebounds, CCC trailed only 12-7 at the end of the first quarter. The Marauders kept the tempo in their favor and prevented the Cougars from scoring easy baskets.
In the second quarter, Cardinal Mooney went on a 19-0 run and CCC never recovered.
"We held them pretty well in the first quarter, but they caught fire in the second quarter," Margarella said. "They hit some shots and we didn't, and they were so tough on our guards. We couldn't handle the pressure."
Reed scored all of the Marauders' points in the second and third quarters but did not get enough help. The Cougars never let CCC get closer than 17 points in the second half.
AATL 74, Canterbury 46: Ethan Haslam and Malik Hall combined for eight 3-pointers — including five in the first quarter — to help the Wildcats cruise past Canterbury. Academy at the Lakes (16-10) never trailed after the opening minute and used a 14-5 run midway through the first quarter to take a 10-point lead.
The Wildcat defense was also in total control during the first eight minutes, forcing the Crusaders (13-11) to turn the ball over seven times.
Canterbury's Kyle Shealy finished with a team-high 24 points.
Times correspondents Nathan Cowan and Jeff Odom contributed to this report.