By SAM STANTURF
© St. Petersburg Times
published February 17, 2002
LARGO -- Back-to-back 3-pointers by Chris Smith and Justin Bailey helped Indian Rocks Christian avoid a pesky Bayshore Christian team 76-65 on Saturday for the district title.
Indian Rocks sank eight of 10 free throws down the stretch, and Bayshore stumbled through four of 17 shooting from 3-point range.
Bayshore was effective early by applying a pressure zone defense and capitalizing on its outside shooting. Guard Timothy Miller hit four 3-pointers and Philip Brooks cleaned up on the offensive boards.
Indian Rocks broke a 2-for-12 slump from behind the arc with a 3-pointer by Smith to end the first half and put the Golden Eagles ahead for good.
Gabe McMillen outscored Bayshore 10-3 in the first three minutes of the third quarter as Indian Rocks moved to its largest lead at 16 points. McMillen scored 34 points, including a perfect 7-for-7 from the free-throw line.
Sharpshooters Smith and Bailey combined for 23 points and six 3-pointers.
Miller led Bayshore with 28 points.
"I don't know a thing about the team that we play next," McMillen said. "But we better be more prepared than we were tonight."
Two of the highest scoring teams in the county played their lowest scoring game of the season as Northside Christian beat Admiral Farragut 49-38 in Bradenton.
The Mustangs (25-5), ranked seventh in Class A, will host a regional quarterfinal Thursday. Admiral Farragut, 23-6 and ranked ninth, will travel.
Led by Lance Skipper's 17 points, Northside Christian shut down the county's third-leading scorer, Vitor Boccardo, collapsing its defense around him and limiting him to four points. Admiral Farragut did not shoot any free throws and committed 19 fouls to Northside's five.
Northside got 13 points from Deon Troupe, who returned to the team in the district tournament following a car accident in January that was expected to sideline him the rest of the season.
-- TIMES STAFF