By EMILY NIPPS, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published February 1, 2003
TAMPA -- Things have changed in the three weeks since rivals Jesuit and Tampa Catholic last met.
Jesuit is no longer undefeated, and the Tigers' scoring leader, Alan Schonbrun, is limping around on a torqued knee. Tampa Catholic seemed much less nervous and mistake-prone, and looked eager to pounce on the Tigers' weaknesses.
The differences stopped there. In an almost identical scenario, the Tigers, led by Joe Donoho, controlled the final quarter and handily beat the Crusaders 66-56.
"All these guys just know how to win," Jesuit coach Neal Goldman said. "Even with Alan playing on a weak knee, he still shows unbelievable leadership on the floor."
Schonbrun scored four points but kept the offense running smoothly with well-timed passes. Donoho scored a game-high 35 points, frustrating the Crusaders with four 3-pointers.
"We're still real confident," Donoho said. "We lost three straight with Alan out, but we know we can hold up when he's in the game."
The Tigers (19-3) and Crusaders (9-12) were tied 25-25 heading into the second half, and the Crusaders took an immediate lead with a Scott Collington layup, then a steal and layup by Ryan Tokarz.
Donoho caught up with a 3, and the teams traded the lead nine times before the third quarter ended.
But Jesuit dominated the fourth, moving to the basket more quickly and taking advantage of hot outside shooting.
"We're pretty good for a little while, then we just stop," Crusaders freshman Ashley Thomas said. "When they start making the 3s, it's like we just shut down."
Thomas and Tokarz each scored eight and Anthony Messina had 10. Collington had one of his best games of the season, scoring 18 and grabbing 16 rebounds.
Every Jesuit player scored at least one point. Mike Gutowski had seven, and Anthony Severino, Ryan Smyth and Clayton Yeko each had five.