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Sorensen has hot hand in Wesley Chapel's win

By STEVE LEE, Times Staff Writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published December 22, 2002

WESLEY CHAPEL -- Befitting their nicknames, the Wesley Chapel Wildcats and Wharton Wildcats came out scratching and clawing in Saturday's Beef O'Brady's Wildcat Christmas Classic final.

After nearly three scoreless minutes, Wesley Chapel's Eric Sorensen ignited the host team with two 3-pointers and scored the first eight points of the game in lead the host team to a 74-50 win.

Bloomingdale defeated Bradenton Lakewood Ranch 79-62 in the consolation game.

Sorensen, who scored 19 of his game-high 25 in the first half, was named the tournament's most valuable player. The senior point guard hit five of his six 3-pointers in the first half.

"I looked at him (midway through Wesley Chapel's 29-point second quarter) and I said, 'Something's burning and I think it's you Eric,' " Wesley Chapel coach Kent Mills said.

"He's got the quick release, he's got the shooter's mentality, he's got the green light. He does what we want him to do."

Jonathan Mudd led Wharton with 10 points.

Wesley Chapel (8-0) and Wharton (4-4) will take turns hosting what Mills and Wharton coach Tommy Tonelli hope becomes and annual event.

Joining Sorensen on the all-tournament team were teammates David Simpson, Zach Mills and Travis Lemasters, who won the hustle award.

Wharton's Josh Simpson and Glenroy Braithwaite and Bloomingdale's Jean Lebrun rounded out the team.

Lebrun scored a game-high 26 points in the Bulls' win. He made 18 of 24 free throws to help Bloomingdale shoot 69 percent (40-of-58) from the line.

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