BRADENTON — The Bradenton Christian School boys basketball team came back from a huge third-quarter deficit and rallied to defeat Lakewood Ranch High, 73-69, in the first day of the Ascenders Classic on Friday evening at IMG Academy.
The game was tied at 69-all before senior Cameron Desrocher hit a pair of layups in the final 26 seconds.
Freshman Aaron Clark scored eight of his 14 points in the fourth quarter to spark the comeback. Senior Ashton Desrocher led the way with 15 points. Cameron Desrocher scored 13 points. Sophomore Jaden Baker added 11 points. Senior Carson Weaver tallied 10 points and was named the Panthers’ player of the game.
Jay’den Clarke-Jones finished with a game-high 19 points for the Mustangs. Dre Junge added 14 points, including four 3-pointers.
Both teams are back in action Saturday at IMG Academy. Bradenton Christian (16-5) plays Parrish Community at 11:45 a.m. Lakewood Ranch (11-7) has a 2 p.m. meeting with IMG Academy White.
Bradenton Christian takeaways
• Coming off a two-point home loss to Riverview High on Thursday night, the Panthers looked sluggish early. Lakewood Ranch got a bunch of easy hoops, some off offensive rebounds, to jump out to its big lead. “I was a little worried because in the first half we looked really tired,” Bradenton Christian coach Scott Townsend said. “I told the guys to keep grinding and told them they had to find a way to push through.”
• The Panthers trailed by 14 points (52-38) midway through the third quarter. “We were able to really dig deep in the second half and get some stops and make some good decisions on the offensive end,” Townsend said. “It came down to rebounding. They were getting a lot of rebounds in the first half. We did a better job of keeping them out of dribble penetrating.”
• Townsend thought it was good for the team’s psyche to win a close one. “We’ve had some really close ones and we’ve been trying to figure out how to get over that hump,” he said. “We just couldn’t find a way to get over that hump. Hopefully, this will be a stepping stone to get over that.”
Lakewood Ranch takeaways
• A 3-pointer by Clarke-Jones tied the game with 26 seconds left. The Mustangs then committed two turnovers down the stretch leading to Bradenton Christian’s final four points. Trailing by two, Lakewood Ranch used timeouts with 3.1 and 1.7 seconds left, but failed to get a shot attempt. “BCS competes,” Mustangs coach Chris Kawcak said. “They don’t ever take their foot off the gas. We had some moments where we had some lapses on defense. We gave up too many layups, and we couldn’t grab a rebound to save our lives.”
• Losers of three straight and four of their last five, the Mustangs permitted Bradenton Christian to go on a 13-3 run at the end of the third quarter and beginning of the fourth to get back in the game. “Momentum turned and we just couldn’t get it back,” Kawcak said. “We should have kept the pedal to the medal today and stretched the lead out. For some reason, we just relax when we get up, instead of having that killer instinct.”
• Lakewood Ranch has two weeks and seven games to prepare for the districts. “That’s what I told the guys after the game,” Kawcak said. “The good news is no matter what our record is, if we win the district we keep going. That’s what we have to focus on. We have to focus on cleaning up our defense and help rotation. Offense isn’t a big issue, but defense is. We keep giving up too many points.
(at IMG Academy)
Palmetto 63, IMG Academy White 52
TOP PLAYERS: P, Jordan Simpson (17 points), Sheldrick Simpson (15 points), Adonis Moise (9 points).
OF NOTE: Moise scored the first five points of a 7-0 run that snapped a 43-all tie in the fourth quarter. … Palmetto has won two straight and 11 of 12. … IMG White is coached by Elliot Washington. … The Tigers have beaten IMG White, IMG Black and IMG Gray this season.
RECORDS: Palmetto (13-3), IMG White (2-10)
NEXT: Palmetto vs. Fort Myers Gateway, 12:30 p.m. Saturday in the Ascenders Classic.
IMG Academy National 88, Imhotep Charter (Pennsylvania) 68
IMG Academy Blue d. New Faith Christian Academy
Mount Carmel 75, DME 68
Sarasota Christian 67, Sarasota Military Academy 26
TOP PLAYERS: SC, Drew Yoder (21 points), Adam Bassil (19 points), Brian Hershberger (11 points), Ben Papineau (8 points)
RECORDS: Sarasota Christian (11-7), Sarasota Military Academy (6-11)
OF NOTE: Sarasota Christian has won eight straight games.
NEXT: Saint Stephen’s at Sarasota Christian, 7 p.m. Monday
Cardinal Mooney 53. Out-of-Door Academy 31
TOP PLAYERS: CM, Dylan Higgins (12 points), Connor Heald (11 points),
NEXT: Booker vs. Cardinal Mooney, 7 p.m. Monday
Bayshore 51, Sarasota 41
Port Charlotte 61, Naples 50
TOP PLAYERS: PC, Bryanna Griffiths (14 points, 9 rebounds), Aryianna Lockey- Progl (12 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals), Yani Hall (11 points, 8 assists, 6 rebounds, 2 steals)
NEXT: Science Hill (Tennessee) at Port Charlotte, 2 p.m. Saturday
Venice 62, Lemon Bay 45
TOP PLAYERS: LB, Maya Collins (12 points), Taylor Orris (12 rebounds), Bre Carroll (three 3-pointers)
NEXT: Lemon Bay at Lakewood Ranch on Wednesday
Manatee 45, St. Petersburg Northside Christian 17
AT: Northside Christian
TOP PLAYERS: M, Keile O'Dell (10 points), Ty Barclay (9 points), Sydney Jones (8 points) Amyia Yunker (8 points)
RECORDS: Manatee (13-5), Northside Christian (1-12)
NEXT: Manatee at Sarasota, 6 p.m. Wednesday
Sarasota 4, Imagine School at North Port 0
GOALS: Presley Gaberseck 3, Michelle Prieto.
ASSISTS: Skylar Woods 2, Prieto.
GOALIE: Franki Magnotti shutout.
OF NOTE: Gaberseck has 11 goals with two hat tricks. ... Janel Mitchell played well on defense.
RECORDS: Sarasota (11-2-3), Imagine (8-2-2).
NEXT: District tournament TBA
FHSAA Dual Team Championships
Class 2A Regional Final
Tampa Jesuit 40, Charlotte 30
Class 1A Regional Final
Lemon Bay 73, Hudson 6
Lemon Bay vs. Clay
Class 3A-District 12 Meet
The Venice High girls weightlifting team won its first district title in program history Thursday at Venice High.
Finishing first in their weight class for Venice: Lauren McMahon, Juliana Courville
Finishing second: Alex Council, Leah Bartlett, Sophia Tarantino, Julia Stone
Finishing fourth: Bridgette Mowduk, Andrea Saxman,
Finishing fifth: Madelyn Crouch
Finishing sixth: Flavia Onetiu, Elizabeth Mopps
All the girls will compete in the regional meet Jan. 29 in St. Cloud.
Dennis Maffezzoli is the deputy sports editor for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune and chief reporter for Sarasota Herald-Tribune and HTpreps covering Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte counties. Support local journalism by subscribing.
This article originally appeared on Sarasota Herald-Tribune: PREP ROUNDUP: Bradenton Christian rebounds to top Lakewood Ranch