St. Petersburg Catholic coach Tim Ryan knew he had to do something.
Down 19-10, Jupiter Christian opened the second quarter with a three-pointer. Then it hit another. And another. And another. Six three-pointers in all against St. Petersburg Catholic's 1-3-1 zone defense, the only shots Jupiter Christian made in the quarter.
So the Barons started the second half in their seldom-used man-to-man defense. Then they hit their shots down the stretch to defeat the Eagles 58-54 and take third place in the Keswick Christian Suncoast Classic.
"My scouting report didn't show they could hit the threes like that," Ryan said. "I figured at halftime that if they were going to beat us, it would have to be inside."
The strategy worked, at least in the third quarter. Jupiter Christian made only one shot from long range, and St. Petersburg Catholic (6-6) built a six-point lead midway through the quarter despite a rare poor shooting performance by standout guard Patrick McMullen, who scored just two points.
Eagles guard Tim Ruh opened the fourth with a three-pointer, one of three treys he hit in the quarter, to tie the score at 42. But the Barons' defense buckled down, and Michael Martino hit a short jumper at the 6-minute mark that sparked a 7-0 Barons run. Jupiter Christian (8-5) never got closer than four points the rest of the way.
Chattanooga (Tenn.) Christian got 12 points from Jason Holwerda in the fourth quarter to claim a 68-60 win over Williamsburg (Ky.) in the title game.
In the fourth-place game, Keswick Christian never trailed after the opening minutes of the third quarter and edged Gibbs, 54-48. James Rosebud scored 25 points to lead Gibbs, and Eli Nicholson had 14 for the Crusaders.