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Panthers avoid upset by Chiefs

By SCOTT PURKS

© St. Petersburg Times, published January 31, 2001


TAMPA -- Chamberlain didn't care that it came into Tuesday's Class 3A, District 10 boys semifinal against Plant with a 2-10-1 record.

"We still thought we could win," coach Chuck Rocca said. "We knew we would have to play nearly perfect to win, but we still believed in ourselves."

Now Plant believes.

Yes, the Chiefs lost 3-2, but the Panthers, who had beaten the Chiefs 3-0 and 5-0 earlier this season, knew they were in a game.

"I told our guys before the match that if you let Chamberlain stay close, that we could lose this game," Plant coach Dennis Derflinger said. "Chamberlain has a great keeper (Pete Young), and any time you're playing against a great keeper, you have to be careful."

Plant (11-2-1) moves on to Thursday's final against Wharton, which defeated King 2-1 in a game where all the goals were scored in the last five minutes. Wharton went up 2-0, and then King's Mike Thomas scored with less than a minute remaining. In the first half of the Chamberlain-Plant game, Young made several spectacular saves to keep the contest scoreless. It wasn't until the 50th minute that Plant's Bobby Boswell broke through for the first of his two goals, the second of which came 14 minutes later.

Plant lost its keeper, Loren Shumard, on a red card midway through the second half. Shumard ran out of the box and was called for being too aggressive on a tackle.

Shumard must sit out the rest of the week.

The Panthers led 2-0 but Chamberlain's Matt Farrel quickly answered with a header off a Ryan Howell throw-in.

Plant went ahead 3-1 on a Tommy Howell goal.

Chamberlain had a couple of shots barely miss the mark before Young slipped by from his keeper's position to score a goal and cut the gap to 3-2 with two minutes remaining.

Berkeley Prep, TC in final

Berkeley Prep defeated Wesley Chapel 9-1 in the Class A, District 7 semifinal, a score that may surprise a lot of people.

The teams' first two matchups ended in a 1-1 tie and a hard-fought 4-1 victory for Berkeley. On Tuesday, Berkeley led 5-0 at the half and basically emptied its bench after intermission.

Berkeley (7-13-2) now moves onto Friday night's final at 7 at Lakeland Sante Fe Catholic against Tampa Catholic, which defeated host Santa Fe Catholic 4-1 in Tuesday's other semifinal.

-- Times staff

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