CLEARWATER – Tournament host Clearwater Central Catholic raced out to a 12-0 lead and never trailed Friday afternoon, beating King 75-65 in the second semifinal of the CCC New Year Invitational.

The Marauders led by as many as 27 midway in through the fourth quarter before King made a late run against CCC’s bench.

Trey Johnson capped a 12-1 CCC run late in the third quarter with a two-handed dunk off a nice dish in the lane from Jerjuan Newton. The Lions were keeping things interesting prior to that run but couldn’t get any closer than 10 points until the game’s final seconds.

King senior Chris Romkey scored 18 of his 21 second-half points in the fourth quarter, finishing with a game-high 24. He hit four 3-pointers during the final 8 minutes and recorded a double-double with 12 rebounds. Damarye Oliver added 16 to join Romkey in double figures.

CCC sophomore Fidel Galaura hit three first-half 3s and paced the Marauders’ second-best offensive night of the season with 17 points. Only topping Friday night’s 75 points was Dec. 13’s effort at Cypress Creek, an 82-47 victory.

CCC’s Giancarlo Margarejo scored 13 points, Michael Dumpson added 11 and Johnny Newton put up nine points and nine rebounds.

Leading off Friday’s tournament semifinal action was another Hillsborough-Pinellas matchup between East Lake and Plant. East Lake entered the afternoon riding a five-game winning streak but fell behind early and couldn’t catch up, losing 59-48.

East Lake and King will play the third-place game at 2 p.m., Saturday, followed by the championship game between CCC and Plant at 4 p.m.


KHS – 8 – 14 – 9 – 34 --- 65

CCC – 17 – 16 – 17 – 25 --- 75


King (4-5)

Chris Romkey – Game-High 24 points (4 3-pointers), 12 rebounds

Damarye Oliver – 16 points (2 3-pointers)

Aenaes Jarvis – 6 points, 7 rebounds

Clearwater Central Catholic (8-4)

Fidel Galaura – 17 points (3 3-pointers), 5 rebounds

Giancarlo Margarejo – 13 points, 4 rebounds

Michael Dumpson – 11 points (6-8 FTs)

Johnny Newton – 9 points, 9 rebounds