Crusaders Crushed in State 3A Semifinal

Lakeland, FL – Tampa Catholic’s surprising run through the playoffs came to a crashing halt in Lakeland on Wednesday Night in the Class 3A Semifinal against Jones. ┬áThe Crusaders were pounded early and often by the Tigers on the boards, from the field, and pretty much every other facet of the game as well en route to the 83-48 defeat.

Crusaders Head Coach Don Dziagwa’s mood was seemingly one of relief as he spoke with reporters after the game. “We knew they were good. Really good. We just didn’t do ourselves any favors by shooting 0-for-11 in the First Half from 3-point range. We were in the game for about one quarter and that’s it.”

The Tigers used a 23-9 2nd Quarter to catapult themselves into the title game with Rickards out of Tallahassee who was an Overtime winner over Pine Crest earlier in the night.

Demarcus Croaker steadied the balanced Jones attack that saw three players in double-figures. He led the Tigers with 19. Angelo Warner poured in 16. The only player in double-figures for Tampa Catholic was Freshman Isiah Thomas with 10. The Crusaders end their magical run to Lakeland with a 21-9 record. Jones now moves to 25-5.

This was the final game for Guard Lashawn Harrison who is still trying to process it all. “I really don’t know what to say at the moment. We got beat by the better team tonight. They really pounded us on the boards tonight.” Thomas confirmed what many already saw. “We showed up a little too late tonight.”

With TC’s result that brought Hillsborough County to 0-2 for the day after Tampa Prep lost. Blake will try and right the ship on Friday as they play Leesburg at 2:30 at The Lakeland Center.