Gary Godsey's three-pointer with 16 seconds to play in the first quarter gave Jesuit its first lead Thursday night. The basket, which made it 18-17, also might have been the first sign that Berkeley Prep was in for a long night.
"It was the first (three-pointer) I've ever made in high school," said Godsey, a senior center whose 6-foot-8, 250-pound body is obviously more suited for the low post. "I was open, and I felt it."
Godsey scored a game-high 27 points as the Tigers won the championship of the Berkeley Prep Invitational 77-63 over the hosts. While there were no more three-pointers in store for Godsey, who was named the tournament's MVP, his trey was a precursor of long-range shooting success.
In the second quarter, senior guard/forward Corey Lothamer hit the first three of his seven three-pointers as Jesuit (6-6) ran out to a 39-27 halftime lead. The Tigers finished with 11 three-pointers.
"I wasn't looking for the three, just whatever was open," said Lothamer, who also had seven three-pointers in a game against Coral Springs last week.
"Once I hit that one on the fast break (in the second quarter), I knew I was hot."
"If Corey hits one, he's going to make every one he takes," Godsey said.
The presence of outside shooting threats like Lothamer, who finished with 22 points, freed Godsey to work inside, where Berkeley was at a height disadvantage.
While the Buccaneers (8-3) struggled to find an answer to Jesuit's inside-outside attack, they kept the game close for much of the first half. Berkeley's Scott Lee hit a jumper to tie the score at 21 with 6:35 to play in the second quarter. But a 12-2 Jesuit run followed.
But in a sense, just being in the championship game was a victory for the Bucs. Berkeley pulled off somewhat of an upset in Wednesday's semifinals, 61-48 over Miami Gulliver Prep.
"Oh yeah, we were very happy getting to the championship game," Bucs coach Sam Petrides said. "I told the kids before the game that they were playing not just for the win, but for the basketball program.
"I felt we would battle. It's hard to beat a team that makes that many three-pointers _ even Godsey hit a three. It was just one of those nights."