In each of the three previous seasons, St. Petersburg Catholic had to get past Academy of the Holy Names to claim the district title.
This season was no different, as the rivals again reached the final. Unfortunately for Holy Names, the results were the same.
Behind a 26-point, 11-rebound performance from senior center Sasha Chaplin, St. Petersburg Catholic made it four in a row, defeating Holy Names 49-33 on Saturday night. The win was the third for the Barons this season against the Jaguars.
The win allows St. Petersburg Catholic (25-1) to open the region tournament at home Thursday. Holy Names (19-9) will begin region play on the road.
"We know their style, and they know ours," St. Petersburg Catholic coach Nick Vandewalle said. "... They always make it hard any time we play."
The Barons, ranked second in the state in Class 3A, jumped out to a 13-2 lead and were never threatened. The Jaguars pulled to within eight, but another Barons' run put the game away.
"They just have so many weapons," Holy Names coach Casey Higgins said. "They beat us mentally and physically."
Barons guard Jerrica Cooley scored eight of her 12 points in the second half when the Jaguars double- and triple-teamed Chaplin. Katie Davis led Holy Names with 16 points.
"We're looking forward to (regionals)," Vandewalle said. "We'll see what happens."