BRADENTON — As the new year approached, Bradenton Christian found itself in a peculiar spot. Stocked with a rich tradition and past success on the local and state level, the Panthers came out of their annual holiday tournament four games below .500
Tonight, however, they will hit their home court with a chance to win a championship and host a playoff game or two.
BCS rolled past Hernando Christian Academy 89-36 in Friday's Class A, District 8 semifinal, sending the top-seeded Panthers into the championship against second-seeded Seffner Christian.
The Panthers (16-11) have won 12 of their past 15 games. Consequently, coach David Magley is pleased with a young team that began the winter short on varsity experience.
"If we gel, we could make a little bit of a run," Magley said. "I like how we're coming together at the right time, and they're growing up, and it's fun to see them grow up and be unselfish."
Friday's game was close early — the fourth-seeded Lions trimmed their deficit to 11-6 with 4:31 remaining in the first.
Then BCS pulled away, embarking on a 25-0 run that stretched into the second quarter. Freshman Austin Walker helped fuel the drive by going 6-for-6 from the field in the second quarter en route to finishing with 23 points.