BRADENTON - This Bradenton Christian win was more about the future than it was about the past.
Sure, the Panthers wanted to even the score with the same Bradenton Prep boys basketball team that took a district home game from them earlier in the season. More importantly, however, Bradenton Christian looked to head into the upcoming Class 1A-District 12 tournament armed with the top seed.
The Panthers succeeded on both accounts, knocking off the Patriots 67-54 on Saturday night during each team's district finale at Manatee Community College's Hal Chasey Gymnasium.
Bradenton Christian (17-8, 9-1) not only earned a first-round bye for the tournament, which gets under way Feb. 6 at Out-of-Door Academy, but won't have to face second-seeded Bradenton Prep (13-5, 8-2) or third-seeded Sarasota Christian until the finals.
"That's all the motivation we need," BCS coach David Magley said.
The Panthers had little trouble moving the ball inside Saturday, scoring a majority of their points on layups or putbacks. D.J. Magley netted a game-high 25 points but got help from fellow post player Cole Hudson (10 points) and the versatile Michael Frey (14).
And whenever the Patriots tried to collapse inside, Jonathan Negrin struck, hitting all four of his 3-point attempts to finish with 13 points.
"It was mostly because of our guards," D.J. said. "They always get the ball inside. A big man can't do it without (his) guards and without guards passing it to him. I thought Jordan (Negrin) and Jonathan played well, and I thought Cole Hudson played extremely well. . . . And Frey, too. He's a great passer and a great shooter."
The Patriots, who will be without one of their top rebounders, Brian Parker, until after the district tournament, struggled to stop BCS' inside game and squandered a fine performance from Jermaine McKenzie, who scored 15 of his 20 points after halftime.
"I thought we played as hard as we could," Bradenton Prep coach Tommy Brown said. "(Bradenton Christian) was just the better team (Saturday night)."
BRADENTON CHRISTIAN (67) - Jonathan Negrin 4 1-2 13, Jordan Negrin 0 0-0 0, Michael Frey 5 3-3 14, Cole Hudson 4 2-7 10, D.J. Magley 11 3-6 25, JoJo Wood 2 1-1 5, Adam Walker 0 0-0 0, Robert Edwards 0 0-0 0, Daniel Magley 0 0-0 0, Noah Thaman. Totals: 26 10-19 67.
BRADENTON PREP (54) - Mo Brown 4 1-1 11, Tervaris Hines 4 2-2 10, Dominique Isom 1 0-0 2, Rudy Murrell 3 1-2 7, Jermaine McKenzie 8 3-5 20, Aaron Van Buren 2 0-0 4, Thom Gish 0 0-0 0, Derek Jackson 0 0-0 0. Totals: 22 7-10 54.
Bradenton Christian 16 19 17 15 - 67
Bradenton Prep 12 15 14 13 - 54
3-pointers: Bradenton Christian 5 (Jon Negrin 4, Frey); Bradenton Prep 3 (Brown 2, McKenzie). Total fouls: Bradenton Christian 11; Bradenton Prep 19. Fouled out: Brown, Isom (Bradenton Prep). Records: Bradenton Christian 17-8, 9-1 Class 1A-District 12; Bradenton Prep 13-5, 8-2.
Class 5A-District 12
Port Charlotte vs. Manatee, 2:30 p.m.
Southeast vs. Punta Gorda Charlotte, 4 p.m.
Venice vs. Lakewood Ranch, 5:30 p.m.
North Port vs. Bayshore, 7 p.m.
Class 4A-District 10
Palmetto vs. Arcadia DeSoto, 7:30 p.m.
Lakewood Ranch boys basketball tops Manatee, 3D