ST. PETERSBURG — After battling through injuries early in the season, Anclote finally had a healthy lineup heading into the holiday break.
It showed in the results. The Sharks entered Saturday’s St. Petersburg Shootout on a six-game win streak. Anclote hoped to continue the momentum in its much-anticipated matchup against Lakewood. To prepare, the Sharks scouted the Spartans’ game Friday night win over Clearwater.
That intel helped Anclote keep UCF signee Jamille Reynolds from turning the game into dunk fest. But the Spartans are more well-rounded than that.
Four players — Oteman Delancy (17 points), Reynolds (16), Anthony Perkins (12) and Elijah Jackson (10) — all reached double figures in scoring as Lakewood broke open a close game to cruise to a 62-53 victory.
“The nice thing about this team is anyone can step up on any given night,” Spartans coach Anthony Lawrence said. “Anclote has a good team and they did some things to try and take some guys away. But then we have guys like Perkins go and do a bunch of the little things and hit some big shots down the stretch.”
Early on, the Sharks (11-4) stayed right with Lakewood. Anclote went on a 5-0 run to take a 25-23 lead in the second quarter. That was due in large part to the production of Jalen Cooper. The Palm Beach signee hit layups and long-range shots and led all scorers with 21 points at the half.
After that, the Spartans bore down and went into the half with a 36-31 lead.
Lakewood never trailed the rest of the way. Since losing consecutive games in early December to powerhouses Montverde Academy and Victory Rock Prep, the Spartans have reeled off 10 straight wins.
East Lake 81, Seffner Christian 66
The final was not indicative of how lopsided the game. By halftime, the Eagles had a 58-24 lead on the defending Class 2A state finalists.
"I don't think I've ever been beaten that bad in one half of basketball before," Crusaders coach Sam Moorer said.
It did not take long in the third quarter before the Eagles (15-0) had a 35-point lead to issue a mercy-rule running clock.
Dean Gabrelcik started the second half by hitting four straight 3-pointers and led all scorers with 24 points. Teammates Dionte Blanch and Jordan Hillmon each added 19. Soon after Gabrelcik's shooting spree, East Lake emptied its bench.
At the end of the game, Seffner Christian star Mike Trigg picked up his second technical foul and was ejected. Moorer said he planned to appeal. If the appeal is denied, Trigg could likely end up serving a two-game suspension.
Calvary Christian 63, Gibbs 59
The Warriors’ tough schedule is starting to produce meaningful wins. After starting 4-8, the Warriors have won three straight.
Trevor Parks had 18 points on six 3-pointers while teammates Tristan Gross had 17 points and Josh Berenbaum added 15 to lead Calvary (7-8).
The Gladiators (5-9) have been without their biggest playmaker, Tre Gilliam, who is dealing with a shin injury all season. Gibbs coach Larry Murphy said Gilliam's status still is day-to-day.
St. Petersburg 82, Braden River 47
After losing to Seminole earlier in the week, the host Green Devils bounced back with their second straight win.
By the second quarter, St. Petersburg (9-5) had the game in control and was able to play nearly everyone in the end.
Three reached double figures in scoring, led by Hayden McCain with 11.