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Tampa Hoops: Tampa Prep's plan foiled in waning seconds

TAMPA — With his team trailing 47-45 Tuesday and 11 seconds left on the clock, Tampa Prep coach Joe Fenlon assembled his team in the timeout huddle.

Fenlon had seen enough of Dr. Phillips' suffocating defense. He wanted the ball in the hands of his best shooter, Jamal Cherry, and he wanted to free Cherry for a 3-pointer to win the game.

The plan, however, never came to fruition.

Dr. Phillips hounded the Terrapins' ballhandlers, preventing Cherry from spotting up where he wanted. Tampa Prep passed the ball trying to get an open look, but time expired before the Terps could shoot in a 47-45 quarterfinal loss to Class 6A power Dr. Phillips.

The loss knocks the Terrapins (10-1) into the consolation bracket of the Tampa Hoops Classic, where they will host Dr. Krop at 7 p.m.

"We haven't had a game that came down to the last possession all year," Fenlon said. "The kids have to learn how to play in that situation and I have to learn to coach in that situation."

Tampa Prep trailed 37-32 heading into the final quarter, but the Terrapins, sparked by consecutive 3-pointers from Cherry and David Fletcher, went on a 9-0 run to start the fourth.

Dr. Phillips answered with a 7-0 spurt, and pushed its advantage to four as the Terrapins switched its defense on the possession after playing man-to-man all night.

"Ultimately, I cost us the game," Fenlon said. "I changed up our defense for one possession because I thought we could catch them off guard.

Jay Bowie made a basket to cut the lead to two. The Panthers had a chance to make it a two possession game, but Damani Cade missed two free throws with just more than a minute remaining.

Bowie had a look at a long jumper with 30 seconds left but was long. He dove to rebound his own miss and call timeout with 26 seconds left. Tampa Prep ran 15 seconds off the clock before Fenlon called another time out to set up the Terrapins' final shot.

In Florida Elite Series action, Plant sophomore Michael Frazer scored a career-high 40 to lead the homestanding Panthers to a 68-64 win over Melbourne.

King was knocked off by Dwyer 74-41 at Tampa Prep.

Northeast Christmas Tournament: Boca Ciega fell behind early 6-2 but finished the first quarter on a 14-4 run and seemed to be on its way to an easy win against Tampa Catholic. The Crusaders, though, scored six straight to start the second and battled the rest of the way only to miss two open 3-pointers at the end to tie it allowing the Pirates to escape with a 56-53 victory in St. Petersburg.

"Hopefully, we can build on this," Tampa Catholic coach Don Dziagwa said. "We certainly didn't quit but I don't like the fact that we've lost two close games like this now in the past week so we'll have to find a way to finish these ones out."

The Crusaders (9-2) were led by Lashawn Harrison with 16 points and David Gonzalez with 12.

Tampa Hoops: Tampa Prep's plan foiled in waning seconds 12/29/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 29, 2009 11:54pm]
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