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Tampa Prep goes cold after pulling within a point, falling 51-33 to Orlando First Academy.
By THOMAS SIMONETTI
Published March 6, 2005
ORLANDO - Tampa Prep found itself just one basket from a lead in the third quarter of the region final Saturday.
Then the Terrapins fell apart and scored just once more in falling 51-33 to Orlando First Academy.
Caleb Sieben made a field goal to pull Tampa Prep within one midway through the third quarter. Three straight possessions without a basket was the beginning of the end for the Terrapins.
"From that point on I think our kids hung their heads," Tampa Prep coach Joe Fenlon said.
The Terrapins watched as First Academy went on a 19-2 run to end the game.
"We went from down to down 10 in a heartbeat," Fenlon said. "We had three possessions when we were down one. After we didn't score on the three possessions it took a lot out of them."
Tampa Prep hung tough in the early going, controlling the flow of the game with its two-three defense. The teams battled to an 8-all tie after the first quarter.
Early in the second quarter First Academy began to increase the game's tempo, taking a 20-12 lead midway through the quarter.
The Terrapins used some quick scores in the third quarter to get back in the game before the team seemed to shut down.
Patrick McCarthy led Tampa Prep with 12 points and Johnny Taveras added eight.
Clayton Crofoot scored a game-high 16 points for First Academy.
First Academy (26-4) goes to the state semifinals for the first time after making the region final for the fourth time.
Tampa Prep (20-9) will look to regroup for next season, losing three seniors, including Taveras and George.
"I think we had a great year," said Fenlon, whose team went on the road to beat Naples Community School and Berkeley Prep to make the final. "We had a good last few weeks. We got some really good performances from a lot of kids."