Tampa Prep was in a dogfight in the final of the CTC City of Tampa Championship on Saturday night, but no worries for the Terrapins.
Leading Tampa Catholic by six at the half might have seemed close, but the Terps weren't concerned. They are a third-quarter team and it showed as they ran off a 24-8 spurt en route to a 69-59 victory, holding off a late charge by the Crusaders.
Tampa Prep guard Josh Heath scored 18 and won Tournament Most Valuable Player honors. Adonis Rwabigwi led all scorers with 25 points, including 21 in the second half.
The Crusaders' defense was vicious all night. Tampa Catholic's Chivarsky Corbett, who scored 50 points Friday in a win over Sarasota Cardinal Mooney, was held to 18.
It was the third quarter that made the difference for the Terps, Heath said.
"We just had to play defense and stick with them and wait for the third quarter,'' Heath said. "That's our time. We had to play good defense and shut them down for a half and that is when we come together as a team. I could never have won the award without the rest of the team.''
Tampa Prep coach Joe Fenlon said the Terrapins worked their magic after halftime.
"The third quarter is our quarter,'' Fenlon said. "The first half is like a boxing match for us. We feel each other out and then we are ready for a different game in the second half.''
The teams traded the lead throughout the first half until Tampa Prep took a lead on a 3-pointer from Andy Fullerton that put the Terrapins ahead, 20-18. Tampa Prep never trailed again.
Corbett and Sam Harris combined for 33 points for the Crusaders.
Thomas Dziagwa, Corbett, Ephraim Lavey, Rwabigwi and Heath were named to the all-tournament team.