tampabay.com

Bayshore surprises Seffner; now faces Tampa Baptist

By ANTHONY GAGLIANO
Published February 11, 2006


TAMPA - Host Bayshore Christian possessed two critical advantages Friday against Seffner Christian: a raucous, standing-room only crowd and no expectations.

The lower-seeded Faith Warriors used both to pull out a 49-43 victory in a game that had nine lead changes in the fourth quarter.

"Being at home was definitely an advantage," Bayshore coach Dean Keagy said. "But, as the lower seed, we did not have anything to lose, at all. That took the pressure off."

Actually, a loss would have ended the season for the Faith Warriors (11-11). Instead, the Crusaders (18-8), who beat Bayshore twice in the regular season by 12 and 11 points, respectively, won't have any more basketball, while the Faith Warriors earned a berth in the playoffs.

"We played tentative," Seffner Christian coach Roger Duncan said. "We were not out there with confidence."

Keagy credited the turnaround to the maturation of his team, which has just two seniors.

After taking a five-point first-quarter lead, Seffner watched Bryan Pluguez explode in the second period. The junior guard finished the first half with 14 points, and Bayshore scored 17 as a team to take a three-point lead into halftime. The Crusaders led by two entering the fourth before E.J. Evans' three started the momentum swings. Samuel Moorer, who finished with a team-high 18 points, hit a 3-pointer to put Seffner up 43-41 with 2:49 remaining, but a layup by Robby Dyer off a steal gave Bayshore the lead for good at 45-43 with 2:14 to play.

The Faith Warriors will have their hands full tonight with top-seed Tampa Baptist, which demolished Citrus Park Christian 67-43 in the second semifinal. The Rams (21-4) surged to a 14-2 lead after one quarter and were paced by the triumvirate of Blake Allen, Justin Fisher and Jeremy Jackson, who led all scorers with 21 points. Allen and Fisher had 18 apiece in limited minutes as the Rams used their entire bench.

Zack Haygood, one of four seniors for Citrus Park Christian, led his team with 15 points, and sophomore Kris Kobtbass added eight points and 13 rebounds.

3A-11: TC, SPC roll into final

ST. PETERSBURG - The goal for top seeds St. Petersburg Catholic and Tampa Catholic was simple: get a big lead, then rest the starters.

The Barons and Crusaders easily accomplished that as they cruised to victory to set up the final. In the first game at the Meehan Center on SPC's campus, Tampa Catholic had four players score in double figures to overcome an 18-13 first-quarter deficit to crush Clearwater Central Catholic 82-48. Joey Lauteria led the Crusaders with 25 points, followed by Scott Wallace with 20, Matt Dziagna with 17 and E.J. Cicccio with 11.

Justin Morin led the Marauders with 15.

St. Petersburg Catholic followed suit in the nightcap as three players scored in double figures to cruise against Berkeley Prep 69-52. Aaron Holmes came up big once again, scoring 29 points on 11-of-17 shooting and grabbing seven rebounds. Grady Jorgenson went 6-for-9 from the field to add 14 points while Ed Rolax was big inside, going 6-for-8 with two emphatic dunks to score 12.

"When we can have our third option, which is usually Grady or Noah (Cumby), contributing for us, then we can be a dangerous team," said SPC coach Mike Moran. "And, we definitely had that tonight with Grady. But when Aaron gets on a roll like that, I'll admit it, the game definitely becomes a lot easier to coach."

After the first quarter in which the Barons outscored the Buccaneers 13-8, the Barons built a 20-13 lead early in the second. But Berkeley went on a mini-run of 6-0 to close the gap to one, 20-19.

Then Holmes went to work.

The Florida State signee scored 11, hitting all three of his 3-pointers, as the Barons closed the half with a 16-4 run and went into the lockerroom with a 36-23 lead.

Jorgenson helped the Barons increase the lead in the third quarter as the senior guard scored four points and had three assists during a 15-2 run. SPC ended the quarter outscoring the Buccaneers 22-13 to essentially put the game away.

"Coach talked to us about playing solid both on offense and defense and also, controlling the boards and we did that pretty well," said Jorgenson of his team outrebounding the Bucs, 21-8, and shooting better than 50 percent from the field. "It was also important for us, heading into the final and, then regionals, to get all our guys rested."

Pat McLaughlin led the Buccaneers with 14 points on 7-of-11 shooting.

--CHRIS GIRANDOLA, Times correspondent

2A-11: Tampa Prep moves on

LARGO - Tampa Prep managed to barely hang on to a lead that was 14 points at one stage, downing Indian Rocks Christian 55-52. In the final the Terrapins will face Keswick Christian, which beat Admiral Farragut 70-55.

Barrett Bailey had nine early points and IRC won the first quarter 17-10 before putting Tampa Prep down 12 points minutes into the second quarter, when Terrapin coach Joe Fenlon called a timeout that would eventually swing the game by 26 points. Team defense begot quick chances for Walter Perkins (16 points) and Jake Haslem (12 points) after that. Between halftime, which Tampa Prep led 26-24, and the start of the fourth quarter, Prep (19-7) wound up playing to save a 14-point lead with four minutes left.

Bailey, who led all scorers with 24 points, made two of his five 3-pointers in the final five minutes, scoring 11 points in the fourth quarter. That helped IRC get to within a 3-point try with seconds remaining in a losing effort for the Eagles (16-10).

"We definitely came together there after that timeout," Fenlon said. "We needed to calm down and play our game. We seemed a little out."

Keswick's Tony Anderson made four 3-pointers for a game high 20 points in the Crusaders' late surge over Admiral Farragut.

Leading the whole night, Keswick went down a point before the fourth quarter, before pulling away.

--ERIC MUSKATEVC, Times correspondent

4A-9: Jesuit falls

BARTOW - Jesuit saw its season end at the hands of Lakeland Kathleen 72-59. Kathleen built a 13-point lead by halftime and held serve after the break to win comfortably. Jesuit finishes at 16-8, while Kathleen moves to 21-7.

--THE LEDGER

4A-8: Pasco in

Pasco brushed aside South Sumter 59-36 to earn a final berth against Springstead, which proved that the regular season means nothing with a 64-53 decision over Gulf. The Bucs had beaten the Eagles twice during the regular season.

Darrell Davis scored 21 points to lead Pasco to its victory.

--VINCENT THOMAS, Times staff writer