Boys basketball: Berkeley Prep rallies from early deficit

Published January 9, 2008

TAMPA - St. Petersburg Catholic coach Mike Moran will insist to anyone who listens that senior guard Tracy Parks is "as good on offense as anybody I've seen at any level this year, high school-wise."

For eight mesmerizing minutes Tuesday night at No. 1-ranked Berkeley Prep, Parks was.

The South Alabama commitment sank three of his four first-quarter 3-pointers during the Barons' 20-0 run that, ultimately, wouldn't hold up.

Down by 15 after one period, Berkeley Prep (14-1, 4-0) rallied behind an awakened defense for a 67-55 victory in a Class 3A, District 11 game.

"Offensively, we can't do a whole lot better than that," Moran said. "But also, we've got to understand that's not lasting. Nobody plays like that for 32 minutes, not even 16 for the most part."

Berkeley Prep took 6-0 lead before the Barons (9-7, 2-1) scored 23 of the next 25 points. They capped a 20-0 spurt by forcing a pair of turnovers that led to consecutive Richard Waddell layups.

But the Buccaneers immediately responded with a 13-0 run to open the second quarter. They trailed 28-27 at halftime, allowing the Barons to score only two field goals in the second quarter.

Berkeley Prep took a 31-30 lead on Johnny Gray's runner in the lane. After a Parks basket, Gray sank a 3-pointer for a 34-32 lead the Bucs would never relinquish.

Parks scored 29, but had only one 3-pointer over the final three quarters. Gray led Berkeley Prep with 19, followed by Archie Barnes (17) and Zak Kazanski (16).

"We got off to a good start," Bucs coach Bobby Reinhart said. "And then the next thing you know, they just went on a tremendous run and we weren't guarding the Parks kid very well, which is not easy to do any time anyway."