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Wildcats and Rams advance to the final

Published February 19, 2004

NEW PORT RICHEY - There is more to top-seeded Wesley Chapel than guard Chase Bussey, and there is more to second-seeded Ridgewood than center Andrew Reed.

But in Wednesday's district semifinals, there really did not have to be.

The county's top scorers led their teams into the regional playoffs and into Saturday's championship game, where they will meet for the third time.

Bussey scored 31 to lead the Wildcats to a 68-49 win against Tarpon Springs, and Reed had a monster night with 30 points and 20 rebounds in the Rams' 76-36 mauling of Gulf.

"Dunkfest," said Reed, who had four of his six dunks in the first quarter. "I was just hustling. I had to get revenge from the last game. They had a box-and-one on me last time and I only scored 10 points. So I hustled more, grabbed more rebounds."

Reed, a 6-foot-7 senior, was unstoppable in the paint, scoring 16 and grabbing eight offensive rebounds in the first quarter. By halftime, he had 20 points and 13 rebounds. As Gulf's defense collapsed in on him, his teammates enjoyed the same dominance, with Stephen Affetto scoring 18 off the bench and Chris Gunter adding 11.

"We had lost our last two games, so it was nice to get back on track," said coach Gary Anders, whose Rams (20-5) closed the regular season with losses to Pasco and Lake Region.

"(Reed) was ready to play. He's been working hard, as the whole team has."

Affetto's 3 at the the end of the third made it 67-30, and a 35-point second-half lead triggers a running clock, making for a mercifully short fourth quarter. Austin Gibson scored 13 to lead third-seeded Gulf (12-14).

Wesley Chapel (21-4) got 31 from Bussey, who edged Reed for Pasco County's regular-season scoring title. Bussey had three of the Wildcats' six 3-pointers, and Mike Auman had two as part of his 12 points. Tarpon Springs (10-17) was led by Justin Morin's 18 points, including all three of the Spongers' 3-pointers.

"I thought it was a solid win, and I thought Chase Bussey played the best he has played this year," said Wildcats coach Doug Greseth, whose team travels to Ridgewood for Saturday's 7 p.m. tipoff.

[Last modified February 19, 2004, 02:00:25]


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