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Late win a building block for Jesuit


© St. Petersburg Times, published January 19, 2003

CLEARWATER -- Jesuit got a goal from Travis Hamilton in the 79th minute to beat Clearwater Central Catholic 2-1 Saturday.

The result was just another in a long string of fierce contests between the rivals.

Tigers coach Bob Bauman said the win would be a big confidence builder for his team after it dropped a 3-2 decision against Osceola Tuesday.

"This is a game we wanted to build on," Bauman said. "I would have been happy with a draw, but any time you can come over here and win, it's a great victory."

CCC was left wondering what could have been after outplaying Jesuit in the first half and taking a 1-0 lead in the 50th minute. Teddy Anderson headed the ball away from Jesuit keeper Keith Meehan, then chipped it back to Santiago Bunce for the finish.

However, the Marauders' lead evaporated on a fluke play in the 58th minute when Jesuit midfielder Chris Placencia booted a long free kick from midfield. It sailed untouched into the box and CCC keeper Alex Linthicum appeared to have an easy play on it, but it bounced into the net.

Then, with a minute to play, Hamilton got free in the box and knocked in a cross from Ray Cuesta for the winner.

"This was a tough loss," CCC coach Jim Harte said. "Jesuit always plays in a rhythm. Our idea was to take that rhythm away. We did that in the first half. We just had a couple of defensive breakdowns in the second half."

The Marauders (7-8-5) have played a tough schedule and dropped games against Countryside and Palm Harbor University this week. Still, they can clinch the top seed in Class A, District 6 with a win over Tampa Catholic next week.

Jesuit (10-6-2) also has a tough schedule coming up and will end its regular season in two weeks with a showdown against unbeaten Melbourne Central Catholic.

"This is all part of our rebuilding year," Bauman said. "The regular season has just been our preseason to get ready for the playoffs. The playoffs are our regular season."

Jesuit has won 18 consecutive district titles.

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