TAMPA — The outcome of the Headmasters' Challenge, a daylong sports competition waged between Tampa Prep and Berkeley Prep, already had been determined when the boys basketball teams took the floor Saturday afternoon.
Berkeley had won enough contests to seize 12 points and possession of the shiny gold cup for the third consecutive year. So before a packed gymnasium on their downtown campus, the Terrapins reached for the most alluring consolation prize they could.
They seized possession of the glass.
Exploiting its height advantage, Tampa Prep had more than twice as many rebounds (49) as the Buccaneers (24). Led by 6-foot-5 senior Jay Bowie (22 points, 14 rebounds) and a season-high scoring night from guard Jordan Heath (14 points, six rebounds), the Terps never trailed en route to a 57-41 win.
"Coach yells at us to box out. He wants all of us on the boards," Bowie said. "He said before the game, 'All of them are going to be on the boards, so we need to box out every single play.' So that's how we played."
Initially, the Buccaneers (11-5) neutralized Tampa Prep's rebounding advantage with long-range accuracy as three players hit 3-pointers to play the Terps to a 13-all tie after one period.
But Berkeley didn't convert another 3-pointer the rest of the game. Tampa Prep held the Bucs to two second-period field goals and finished the first half with a 10-2 run for a 25-17 halftime lead.
The Terps increased it to 35-23 on three Jamal Cherry free throws with 2:37 to play in the third and never led by fewer than 10 the rest of the way.
"We figured the difference in the game was going to be the paint on both ends of the floor, and they controlled it," Bucs coach Bobby Reinhart said. "They got a lot of easy transition baskets in the first half, and certainly they controlled the offensive boards in the second half when they weren't making shots."
Sophomore guard Nelson Agholor led Berkeley with 19 points, 10 of those coming in the fourth. His basket with 3:40 to play was the Bucs' first points of the fourth period.
"I think we overall played a really, really good game," said Tampa Prep coach Joe Fenlon, whose school finished with seven points overall in the challenge. "When you're taking a lot of 3s there's a lot of long rebounds, which creates a lot of opportunities for long kids. And I've got some kids who are long."