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Basketball: TBT wins another close one over Bloomindgale
By MIKE CAMUNAS, Times Correspondent
Published January 15, 2008
VALRICO - Bloomingdale will probably look ahead now.
Districts are just a couple of weeks away, and since rival Tampa Bay Tech won two of their three matchups - including Monday night's 47-41 win - to secure the No. 1 seed in the district, the Bulls now eye the No. 2 spot. And it all would be one more step in securing another hard-fought rematch for the Class 5A, District 8 championship.
"We're talking about these games (with TBT), and they're three- or four-point games," Bloomingdale coach Mike Kiser said. "They've all been close games, so we're definitely looking to seem them again."
TBT (19-1, 13-1) beat the Bulls 42-40 on Dec. 4, and Bloomingdale (16-4, 9-3) picked up a 46-42 win Dec. 29, the only blemish on the Titans' record.
As for Monday, in front of a crowd of more than 500, the defense played stout, holding each team's top scorer to well below their averages.
"It was a bigger crowd than we're used to," Kiser said. "(There was a) big student presence and our kids aren't used to that, and it showed early on, for both teams."
Titans forward Andrea Bridges (18.3 ppg) had just nine points, while DeDe Davis had a game-high 12 points on 6-of-12 shooting from the field.
Bloomingdale's Paris Moore, who entered the game averaging 21 points, was held to 10 points, getting just six shots from the field. Adrianna James led the Bulls with 11 points on 4-of-9 shooting inside the paint.
"Bloomingdale has a good team, but we all know that everything revolves around Paris," TBT coach Heather Glezen said. "We knew if we controlled her, we controlled the game, and I think we did that in the second half.
"In the first half, we allowed her to control everything, because she's going to get her points, so you have to contain her."
Bloomingdale jumped out to a quick 9-3 lead in the first quarter, but Kiser said poor free-throw shooting held back the Bulls, who went just 4-of-12 from the line, including Moore, who went 1-of-8.
The Titans tied the game at 33 in the fourth, and they pulled away for the win behind Leria Jenrette, who made two crucial free throws and a late bucket.
Kiser said his team had difficulty using zone defense - they only use it against TBT.
"We play man-to-man defense, and they're the only team that we zone, and we didn't do a good job of boxing them out in zone," Kiser said. "Switching defenses didn't effect us because we've been working on it for a few days, and we can do it - it's just hard to."
Bloomingdale players were emotional following the loss, many of them reduced to tears in the locker room.
Glezen agreed that this was a heartfelt game.
"This is a big win for us - especially emotionally," Glezen said. "We have a tendency of pushing, pushing, pushing, so I have to tell them to pull back some, but it's hard in a game like this."
But Kiser believes - and hopes - there will be at least one more chance.
"We've played them three times and beat them once on their court," Kiser said. "We're very evenly matched, so we're looking at another rematch: the district championship."