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Preps

Terps earn spot in state semis

nwilliams@tampatrib.com
Published:   |   Updated: March 22, 2013 at 09:07 AM
NAPLES -

Longtime Tampa Prep boys basketball coach Joe Fenlon stood with his arms raised to the sky and his fists clenched as he shouted to the heavens.

"Oh my God," he said. "Are you kidding me?"

Playing for its second consecutive state tournament appearance and its sixth overall, Tampa Prep rallied to defeat Community School of Naples, 46-43, in Saturday's Class 2A-Region 3 final.

The Terrapins (26-4) play Port St. Joe in Friday's state semifinals.

With 8.3 seconds left, sophomore Devontae Morgan made two free throws to give his Terrapins the three-point lead. But what happened just seconds before was a turn of events Fenlon didn't see coming.

The score was tied at 43 with 44 seconds left and Community School was trying to hold the ball for a last-second shot.

With less than 20 seconds remaining, Tampa Prep senior guard Jordan Heath intercepted a pass near halfcourt and sprinted to the other end for a layup. Heath missed the shot but it was rebounded by Morgan, who was fouled on the putback shot with 9.3 seconds to go.

After the call, a Community School player flung the ball across the gym in disgust and was called for a technical, giving Tampa Prep possession of the ball after the free-throw attempts.

Morgan made the first of two shots to give Tampa Prep a one-point lead, but senior guard Jamal Cherry missed both technical shots. On the inbounds pass, Morgan was fouled and hit both shots to seal the win.

"I just didn't want to let my team down," said Morgan, who finished with a team-high 13 points and five rebounds.

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