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Crusaders no match for Barons

St. Petersburg Catholic isn't fazed by an early deficit and goes on to rout Tampa Catholic 89-45.

By ANTHONY GAGLIANO

© St. Petersburg Times, published January 13, 2002


TAMPA -- Behind nine points from Scott Collington, Tampa Catholic took an 11-10 lead halfway through the first quarter against St. Petersburg Catholic in the Tampa Roundball Classic on Saturday.

TAMPA -- Behind nine points from Scott Collington, Tampa Catholic took an 11-10 lead halfway through the first quarter against St. Petersburg Catholic in the Tampa Roundball Classic on Saturday.

The Barons don't like being behind.

SPC (13-5) responded with a 21-4 run to distance itself from the host Crusaders (9-8) and won going away 89-45.

The Barons led by 19 at halftime and 30 at the end of three quarters. The 44-point lead at the final buzzer was the Barons' largest of the game.

"We knew that if we ran our stuff, then they couldn't stop us and that's how it played out," SPC senior guard David Lopez said.

The Barons benefited from Lopez's dynamic shooting. The 5-foot-9 guard drilled six 3-pointers to finish with 22 points and eight rebounds.

Lopez wasn't alone. Mike Heretick topped him, scoring a basket in the final minutes to finish with a team-high 23. Still, Lopez's 3-pointers are what shut the door on the Crusaders.

"If there's a guy shooting the ball better than he is anywhere right now, I'd be surprised," Barons coach Mike Moran said. "The last two or three weeks, he's been an amazing shooter."

After a pair of free throws from Collington gave Tampa Catholic the one-point advantage at 11-10, the Barons got 3-point field goals on three consecutive possessions to push their advantage to 20-11 with 1 minute, 56 seconds remaining in the first quarter. "We've got kind of a history of slow starts," Moran said. "We're trying to work real hard on that. Playing away, you might be down a little bit early. That wasn't such a surprise. Then, we really started shooting the ball well like we have been lately."

The Barons opened the second quarter by scoring seven consecutive points, capped off by a jumper from Chad Radosdevich, who finished with 13 points.

"We certainly weren't trying to (run up the score)," Moran said. "That coach (Don Dziagwa) is a real good friend of mine. ... We have nine healthy bodies, so one of them has got to be out there all the time. It's not like I can put in five guys who don't play a lot. ... (Running up the score) was the last thing on my mind."

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