Young Canterbury team can't keep up
ST. PETERSBURG — Bradenton Christian scored the first eight points and host Canterbury never got any closer as the Panthers rolled to a 68-28 victory in a Class A region quarterfinal Thursday.
Bradenton Christian (23-5) wasn't expected to start its playoff run on the road but the Panthers fell to Sarasota Christian in the district finals and took out their frustrations on a young Crusaders squad.
"They are a very young team and they are still learning," Bradenton Christian coach Dave Magley said of Canterbury. "But they are getting better and they will be a team to deal with next year."
The Panthers, who are ranked fifth in the state, won't be in Class A next season to find out as they are being bumped up to 2A.
Canterbury struggled from the beginning and had just one field goal in the first quarter. The deficit got as high as 24 in the first half before a spirited run closed the gap to 37-19 at halftime.
"We needed to experience this sort of game," Canterbury coach Josh Tebbe said. "There was no way we could prepare for their speed and execution. We just couldn't simulate it in practice."
Ryan Harbour led Canterbury (14-10) with 10.
Corey Long, Times correspondent