TAMPA — Tampa Prep coach Joe Fenlon knew the importance of Tuesday’s district game at Brooks-DeBartolo.
With both teams undefeated in district play, staying atop the district standings was invaluable in the early season.
And despite missed free throws and a slew of turnovers down the stretch, Fenlon’s Terrapins held off Brooks-DeBartolo, 57-49, to stay undefeated at 6-0 and improve to 3-0 in a Class 3A-District 7.
The loss was the Phoenix’s second of the season, dropping to 5-2 and 2-1 in district play.
Six-foot-9 sophomore Juwan Durham led the Terrapins with 21 points, five blocks and seven rebounds, along with four slam dunks.
Tampa Prep made eight of 20 free throws and was 6-of-11 in the fourth.
“Those are things you have to take advantage of in a game like this,” Fenlon said.
The Phoenix trailed by 17 in the fourth quarter but closed within eight with 3:16 remaining in the fourth quarter. Their run, however, was stopped by back-to-back 3-pointers by junior guard Joseph Barker, who finished with 14 points.
“Those were two enormous 3’s when they were trying to make a run,” Fenlon said.
Brenden Huynh led Brooks-DeBartolo with 17 points, including nine from beyond the arc. The Phoenix finished with 12 turnovers, compared to Tampa Prep’s eight.
“When you’re down, you have to try and scramble to get back into the game,” said Phoenix coach Brian Reeves.
Reeves played four years at Tampa Prep and was an assistant under Fenlon for five years.
“As I told the guys, it’s not about me, it’s about us,” Reeves said.
It was Reeves’ second time coaching against his former coach.
“I’ve been coaching for 32 years so I’ve coached against a lot of people I know, but not many know me as well as Brian,” Fenlon said.