TAMPA — When 6-foot-10 Tampa Prep sophomore Juwan Durham gets fired up on the basketball court, it’s bad news for opponents.
Durham was fired up Saturday, and the opponent, Berkeley Prep, struggled from start to finish before losing 56-34 in front of a packed, raucous house at Tampa Prep.
Durham? He scored 24 points, grabbed 17 rebounds and blocked 15 shots. He also caused numerous awkward alterations of Bucs’ shots and made several nice passes when the Bucs collapsed on him.
“When (Durham) is active he can cause a lot of problems (for opponents),” Tampa Prep coach Joe Fenlon said. “What a great game he had today.”
The victory not only was the seventh straight for Tampa Prep over Berkeley in boys basketball, but it also helped seal up an overall tie at 9.5 points in the annual Headmasters’ Challenge, a daylong event between the schools that features 14 games in boys and girls soccer, boys and girls basketball and wrestling from middle school to junior varsity to varsity.
The featured game, however, was boys basketball, which appeared destined for a tight fight. After all, Berkeley Prep came in with a 15-1 record that included victories against a host of quality teams.
Tampa Prep (15-2) also had defeated several solid teams and had steadily improved through the season with Durham and players like Mike Fridella (13 points Saturday), Taz Strauch (eight points) and point guard Yoni Wasser (seven assists).
On Saturday, the Terrapins came out clicking on defense, holding Berkeley Prep to only three points through the game’s first 5 minutes. Tampa Prep jumped to a 10-point lead and never allowed the Bucs closer than seven points the rest of the way.
For the Bucs, it was the lowest point total for the season. Berkeley Prep’s leading scorer, Justin Gray, who sat out the week of practice while overcoming from concussion-like symptoms, had nine points and point guard Craig Bowman had eight.
Afterward, Durham, who blocked several of Gray’s and Bowman’s shots, was humble.
“I just wanted to do whatever I could to help our team win,” Durham said.
In varsity boys soccer, Tampa Prep eked out a 1-0 victory. Midway through the second half, Dylan Roberts stole a ball from a defender 20 feet from the goal and found himself basically one-on-one with Berkeley’s keeper. Roberts buried the shot in the back of the net.
After that, Tampa Prep packed its defense around its goal to seal the victory. Berkeley had several near misses but could never finish.
In varsity girls soccer, Berkeley won 2-1, and in varsity girls basketball, Tampa Prep won 47-27.