Oldsmar Christian captures Great Florida Shootout title

December 23, 2014
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Not even a trophy could console Kissimmee Osceola Tuesday night.

The Kowboys (11-1), No. 10 in the Sentinel’s Super 16, were steamrolled 65-32 by Oldsmar Christian (16-1) at home in the championship match of the Great Florida Shootout boys basketball tournament.

Oldsmar’s leading scorer, 6-foot-7 senior Justin James, had 27 points. Orlando Martinez led the Kowboys with eight.

“I wasn’t expecting my guys to play the way we did,” Osceola coach Nate Alexander said. “I felt like we came out kind of scared and timid, almost too excited.”

After Osceola’s first few shots almost soared over ther backboard, and after the Eagles took a 17-1 lead in the first quarter, the end was predictable.

The Kowboys trailed 59-21 entering the fourth quarter, the only one in which they outscored Oldsmar, 11-6.

In the third-place game, a scrappy two-pointer and a free throw in the final minute was all that separated Kissimmee Poinciana (14-4) from Parkland Stoneman Douglas (8-5).

The Eagles pulled out a 64-62 victory over Douglas, also the Eagles.

“We’ll take it,” said Poinciana coach Damion Whitsett. “A win’s a win. It was an ugly win, but it’s better than a loss.”

Junior Nate Louis scored the final field goal surrounded by defenders under the net with 36 seconds left in the game, giving Poinciana a 63-59 lead.

When Douglas’ Jacob Merkle got the ball on the next possession, he hesitated and then pulled up and took a shot from at least three feet behind the arc. The crowd groaned, until it swished through the net. The Douglas Eagles trailed 63-62 when they fouled Isaiah Moody, who made one free-throw attempt, the final point.

Moody had a team-high 15 points. Brandon Murat scored 14 and Louis 13.

Poinciana gave up a 19-13 first-quarter lead by scoring just eight points in the second quarter. The score was tied at 48 at halftime.

In earlier games, No. 11 Lake Highland (9-4) beat Riviera Beach Suncoast (7-5) 74-60 for fifth place thanks to senior Jaren Lewis and freshman Nick Honor, who each scored 20 points, and Apopka lost 44-43 to Port St. Lucie Treasure Coast in the seventh-place game.

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