tampabay.com

Boys 2A-11 hoops: Mustangs advance with a little drama

By NATHAN COWAN
Published February 9, 2008


ST. PETERSBURG - Northside Christian played from behind for most of its district semifinal with Keswick Christian on Friday.

The Mustangs took their first lead with 37 seconds left on Drew Phillips' second straight 3-pointer and held on to win 44-41.

"Drew had been cold all night," Mustangs coach David Madasz said. "Those two 3s were huge."

"We made some mistakes down the stretch," Keswick coach Jack Skipper said. "Those cost us."

The Crusaders controlled the game in the first half and led 18-8 at the end of the first quarter, getting 10 points from Tarwin Jones. Keswick held the same margin at the half 28-18.

"At halftime we adjusted and got into a scramble on defense," Madasz said. "I think it finally got our guys relaxed."

Northside battled to within four throughout the second half but was not able to get over the hump until Phillips' heroics.

"I had been close all night and I never quit," Phillips said. "The second one banked in and sometimes its better to be lucky than good."

"We never lost confidence in (Phillips)," said Taylor Stowell, who finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds. "We knew if he kept shooting they'd go down."

Admiral Farragut dismantled Shorecrest 62-26 in the other semifinal. Hayden Buttner had 19 points and Michael Koebel had 11.

Nathan Cowan, Times correspondent