Don Dziagwa is a coach that knows what he likes to see from his program, and isn't afraid to use it.
The same high-tempo, run-and-gun style he has used throughout his 20 years at Tampa Catholic, and same strategy that carried the team to the Class 3A state final four last season, worked to perfection on Wednesday night as the Crusaders topped Wiregrass Ranch, 99-80.
Sophomores Chivarsky Corbett, Isiah Thomas and Jordan Burkes each finished with 24 points and Tampa Catholic (3-0) finished with 12 3-point baskets.
"We pressed and shot the ball well," said Dziagwa, who last week notched his 400th career win.
The Crusaders led 49-43 at the half, but in the third quarter they outscored the Bulls (0-2) 25-12, sparked by a 10-4 run in the first two minutes.
"I was really impressed with how we came out in the second half," Dziagwa said.
Corbett had a double-double with 17 rebounds along with five blocked shots. Junior Rico Kerney led Wiregrass Ranch with a game-high 31 points and 13 rebounds.
Playing a high-scoring team was nothing new to Wiregrass Ranch, which lost to Mitchell 107-101 in the season opener.
"We're so young," said Bulls coach Jeremy Calzone, who led the team to program-best 22 wins last season. "We graduated seven, we have two transfers and a bunch of JV guys moved up. We have to learn how to play together in tough spots."