Three Hillsborough County teams took easy victories in the opening round of the Class A, District 9 boys basketball tournament at Bayshore Christian on Tuesday. Junior Chris Finley hit six three-pointers and scored a game-high 25 points for Riverhills Christian in a 69-52 triumph over Beacon Prep of Lakeland, the No. 9 seed. Brian Stanley added 22 points for the Falcons (13-9). Beacon Prep finished 9-12.
Berkeley Prep used an aggressive defense and a balanced scoring attack to defeat Tampa Baptist 77-40 in Tuesday's second game. All 12 players broke into the scoring column for the Buccaneers (11-14). Kevin Gleason and Mark Stoddard led the way with 13 and 12 points, respectively. Scott McNichols scored 12 points for Tampa Baptist, the No.10 seed, which ended its season at 8-21.
In the final game of the day, Tampa Prep's height and quickness were too much for No.11-seeded Lake Wales-Vanguard. The Terrapins (13-12) ran off 14 straight first-quarter points to break a 4-4 tie and dominated the Panthers (7-17) on the glass in an 84-56 win.
Byron Clark was high scorer for the Terrapins with 17 points. Scott Emener added 12 points and 10 rebounds. Davey McCullough, Scott Grossman and Peter Casey also scored in double figures for Tampa Prep. Vanguard's John Lambrecht had a game-high 22 points.
The tournament resumes Thursday with Riverhills, the No. 8 seed, facing top-seeded Bayshore Christian on the Faith Warriors' home floor in an 8 p.m. game. The Faith Warriors have won 15 in a row and are ranked No. 10 in the state.
Berkeley Prep, the No. 7 seed, takes on second-seeded Santa Fe in a 6 p.m. game, and sixth-seeded Tampa Prep meets Pathway Christian, the No. 3 seed, at 4 p.m. Thursday's first game will feature the fourth- and fifth-seeded teams, Temple Heights and Lakeland Christian.