Sunday, February 27, 2011

Southeast gave state champ Tampa Catholic its toughest game

Tampa Catholic winning its second straight Class 3A state championship this season could provide a nice boost of confidence for the Southeast High girls’ team.

Southeast gave the Crusaders their toughest battle in the five games Tampa Catholic had to win to capture the state title losing 61-55 in the region championship game that went down to the final minute.

Southeast led 55-53 with 3:15 left in its game with Tampa Catholic and trailed 59-55 with 1:02 remaining when it missed a 3-point field goal attempt and then four straight shots inside the paint with 20 seconds remaining. The Crusaders put their final two points on the board via free throws with one second left.

Tampa Catholic won its four other post season games by at least 10 points, capturing its State Final Four semifinal over Port Orange Atlantic 68-58 and the state championship game 48-37 over North Broward Prep.

With a lineup that had three freshmen among its top six players, including two who started, the Seminoles have a bright future ahead if they work hard during the off season.

Next year the Southeast girls’ basketball team will compete in Class 5A as the state goes to eight classifications. Tampa Catholic will move to Class 4A.

The Seminoles won’t have Tampa Catholic to compete with, but their district next season will include St. Petersburg Lakewood, which won the Class 4A state title this year.

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