The week ahead A look at the top prep events across the county:
(District girls soccer tournaments will be played at various sites across the county through Friday.)
Boys basketball, Tampa Catholic (16-2) at Berkeley Prep (13-5), 7:30 tonight: After watching TC dismantle Jesuit in the second half Friday night, we're convinced the Crusaders are for real. So are Berkeley's chances in this game. Bucs coach Bobby Reinhart, who scouted TC on Friday, has a promising young team.
Girls basketball, Tampa Bay Tech (16-2) at Durant (13-5), 6:30 Wednesday: This matchup features the top teams in Class 5A-8 and with a win, the Titans can wrap up the No. 1 seed and pretty much seal an undefeated record in district play.
Girls basketball, Tampa Catholic (20-1) at St. Petersburg Catholic (13-3), 7:30 Wednesday: Crusaders have fewest losses of any county team — boys or girls — but SPC's Jerica Coley, reigning Pinellas County Player of the Year, scored 42 in the last meeting and always brings her best against TC.
Boys soccer, Wharton Invitational final, 8 Thursday: This is the title game of this 16-team, four-day event that began Saturday. Rain is in the forecast, which still beats sub-freezing temperatures.
Boys basketball, Durant (13-2) at Plant City (13-3), 8 Friday: Durant entered the week 9-1 in 5A-8, a half-game ahead of the second-place Raiders (9-2). Throw in the rivalry game element and the Raiders' quest for revenge (Durant won the first meeting by 14), and this one could be juicier than anything sprouting on a nearby soccer field.
Girls basketball, Wharton (16-4) at Freedom (17-4), 6:30 Friday: Considering these schools battle for New Tampa bragging rights, this game would be big regardless of records, but both programs' resurgences make it even more exciting.
Wrestling, Tony Ippolito Tournament at Brandon, Friday-Saturday: This 26th annual event, starting at 4 p.m. Friday at Brandon High, typically serves as a solid tune-up for districts. Thirty teams have entered. The host team winning is as certain a bet as rush-hour traffic on State Road 60.