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Boys A-11 hoops: Strong start leads Canterbury to title
By Martin Bater, Times Correspondent
Published February 10, 2008
TAMPA - Senior guard Brandon Hamilton scored 30, going 20-of-27 at the free-throw line, and led Canterbury (14-7) to a 66-55 win against Citrus Park Christian in the Class A, District 11final for the Crusaders' first district title since 1977.
The first quarter - in which Canterbury took a 25-8 lead - was the determining factor. The 17-point deficit was too much for Citrus Park, which could never get back into it.
Hamilton scored seven of his 30 in that first quarter, letting everybody else get involved with the offense as well.
"We came out running our trap defense to set up a fast pace for the game," Canterbury coach Dave Smith said. "We used our athleticism and were able to jump out to the big, early lead."
Citrus Park, led by senior Pierre Komandur with 25 points, was a decent offensive team that couldn't get the big stops when it needed them.
Citrus Park never stopped fighting to get back into it, and after hanging around since the second quarter, it found itself down 47-39 with six minutes left.
On the next Crusaders possession, Hamilton drove to the basket and got a critical three-point play that took the air out of any possible Citrus Park rally.
"Canterbury was the better team tonight. We came up short despite our best efforts. I'm sure (Citrus Park) is going to be better next year thanks to this experience," Citrus Park coach Juan Rivera said.