Dillard sharp-shooting guard Tyson Grace rediscovered his smooth shooting stroke just in time to spoil upset-minded Coral Springs Charter’s Kreul Classic Publix Challenge title celebration plans on Saturday.
Grace came alive for 14 of his team-high 17 points in the pivotal second half as FABC-Source Hoops Class 5A No. 7 Dillard fought back from a 34-21 halftime deficit and defeated Coral Springs Charter 56-50 at the Coral Springs City gym.
“I like to be the best at everything I do,” Grace said. “I’m comfortable with taking big shots. I work on it in practice. My teammates believe in me and they get the ball to me when it’s time.”
Grace’s hot second half earned him Tournament MVP and illustrated his emergence as Dillard’s most reliable weapon in crunch time.
Grace started the spurt with a steal and layup with 4:58 left in the third quarter which cut the lead to 40-29, added a fade-away jumper before hitting the biggest shot of the night — a three-pointer from the left corner with four minutes left which pushed Dillard (48-45) ahead for good.
Pine Crest (9-3) got a game-high 23 points and 11 rebounds from 6-10 center Antonio Vrankovic but squandered an 18-6 lead entering the second quarter and fell 71-64 to Lee (AL) in the championship game.
“We did get off quickly and I thought we were building some momentum but that is a good team that came back on us,” said Pine Crest coach David Beckerman. “I thought the second half was the difference in not getting to the line enough and not getting the ball inside to the big guy who is getting better and better every game.”
That “big guy” is Vrankovic, who scored the game-winner against Salem (GA) in the quarterfinals and set the tone early against Lee with a dunk that gave Pine Crest a quick 11-0 lead.
But the Generals (12-2) regrouped with a 15-5 run in the second quarter and went ahead for the first time (25-24) on Khwan Fore’s layup with 1:21 left in the quarter.North Broward Prep 57, Kentucky Grant County 47: NBP: