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Region boys basketball: Tampa Prep hits stride in second half

TAMPA — With seven seconds to go before halftime, Tampa Prep starter Taz Strauch, having sat the previous three minutes because of foul trouble, reentered the Terrapins' Class 3A region semifinal against Brooks DeBartolo with his team trailing by two points.

The Phoenix led for the majority of the first half, but Strauch swished a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Terrapins a 28-27 advantage — their first lead in nearly eight minutes — at the break.

Strauch's shot turned out to be the boost Tampa Prep needed.

The Terrapins never trailed after halftime and outscored the Phoenix 28-9 in the fourth to run away to a 73-50 victory.

"Just executing the last possession of the half gave us momentum going in," Tampa Prep coach Joe Fenlon said. "Whether we had the lead or not, the kids felt comfortable."

The game was decidedly uncomfortable in the first half for Tampa Prep (25-3), which had defeated Brooks DeBartolo (20-9) in three previous meetings. The Phoenix forced the Terps into ill-advised shots and grabbed a 22-17 lead — their largest — midway through the second quarter after a 3 by Jarred Anderson (team-high 19 points).

Tampa Prep made a concerted effort to get the ball to 6-foot-9 center Juwan Durham after halftime, and the Terps went on a 11-2 run after the break, Durham scoring nine of the 11, to build a 10-point lead. Brooks DeBartolo responded with a 12-4 spurt to cut the lead to two and trailed by four at the end of three.

The Phoenix, however, ran out of gas in the final quarter. Terps freshman Amari Goulbourne (12 points) sank two free throws to push the lead to double digits, and Durham hit a bucket with four minutes remaining to cap a 14-1 run to start the fourth.

"I knew (Brooks DeBartolo wasn't) going to give up," Durham said. "We just had to keep playing hard."

Durham scored 23 points and made 9-of-11 free throws after halftime to tie a season high for points with 35 to go with 11 rebounds. Michael Fridella added 12 points for the Terrapins.

Michael Obi and Brenden Huynh each scored nine points for Brooks DeBartolo.

Class 4A

Berkeley Prep 76, Avon Park 46: The Bucs outscored Avon Park by 14 in the first quarter to cruise into the Class 4A region finals.

"We just played a real solid game, which we needed to on the road," Bucs coach Bobby Reinhart said.

Berkeley (26-3) hit seven 3-pointers to pull ahead for good, including some by Craig Bowman, Marshall Holmes, Antonio Johnson and Justin Gray. Holmes led the Bucs with 22 points and four 3s. Bowman finished with 14 points, and Gray, a Texas Tech signee, added 10.

The Bucs also hit 27 of their 39 free throws in the rout.

Class 2A

AATL 69, Bayshore Christian 53: Malik Hall and Ethan Haslam poured in 23 points each for host Academy at the Lakes. AATL (17-10) made eight of its first 14 long-range attempts while embarking on a 15-0 run in the second quarter, turning a tie game into a 30-15 Wildcats lead.

Hall scored 13 points in the first half while Haslam had 17, capping it off with a steal and layup at the horn for a 41-23 lead. .

Bayshore (24-4) fought back behind Greg Johnson. He had no points and just two field-goal attempts in the first half, but went 4-for-6 while scoring 10 in the third quarter. His third 3 of the half pulled the Faith Warriors within 53-45 with seven minutes left in the game.

But the Wildcats got baskets from Haslam and Evan Gordy, both on second-chance efforts, to restore the cushion. AATL would lead by as many as 19.

Johnson ended with 16 points for Bayshore, with Josh Humphries adding 13 and Matthew Eckermann 10, all but one in the first quarter. Six-five senior Eric Davis hauled in 15 rebounds.

Correspondent Darek Sharp contributed to this report.

Region finals

All games at 7 p.m.

7A: Bartow at Freedom,

Saturday

6A: Lehigh at Lennard, Saturday

4A: Community School of Naples at Berkeley Prep, Friday

3A: Orlando First Academy at Tampa Prep, Friday

Region boys basketball: Tampa Prep hits stride in second half 02/18/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 18, 2014 10:58pm]

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