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McMillens lead IRC into semifinals

By SCOTT PURKS, KEN SMITH, ERICA STEEBER, Times staff

© St. Petersburg Times, published February 23, 2001


TAMPA -- It seemed liked everything Indian Rocks Christian put in the air Thursday fell through the hoop, which was almost the direct opposite for Tampa Prep.

That said, the final result of Thursday's Class 2A regional quarterfinal shouldn't be too surprising: Indian Rocks 56, Tampa Prep 47.

"It was a really, really bad day to be flat," Tampa Prep coach Joe Fenlon said. "As for missing the shots it gets to be more mental than physical, you start pushing, trying to force it in.

"What can I say? We just missed a lot of shots."

Indian Rocks caught fire in the second quarter and took a 23-13 lead into halftime. The Terrapins (24-7) never got closer than five points the rest of the way.

Indian Rocks sophomore guard Gabe McMillen and his brother, Caleb, led the way with 27 and 17 points respectively. And in the second and third quarters, the brothers McMillen scored every one of the Golden Eagles' 26 points.

"If you would have told me before the game that Gabe and Caleb McMillen would beat us by themselves, I would have said no way," Fenlon said. "But tonight, whew, those guys played very well."

They also got some timely help, including a rare nothing-but-net three-pointer from Colt Martin, and a running, leaning, one-handed field goal from freshman Chris Curran.

"I knew when (Martin) made his three-pointer and Curran had his shot that it must be our night," said Gabe McMillen, who did almost all of the Golden Eagles' ball-handling in the final two-minute stretch. "I think we came in here feeling pretty loose, like we didn't have anything to lose."

Indian Rocks (18-11) moves onto to play at Fort Myers Canterbury (23-7) in Tuesday's semifinal. -- SCOTT PURKS

Mustangs roll into next round

No matter how hard he tried, Northside Christian coach Chip McAllister couldn't find anything to complain about after his Mustangs had rolled over Fort Meade 86-63 in another Class 2A game.

During the first half, the Mustangs easily broke the Miners' press and scored on easy lay-ups to take a nine-point lead at halftime. After intermission, Northside Christian relied on hot outside shooting.

The Mustangs also controlled the boards on both ends, scoring on put-backs on offense and rarely allowing Fort Meade (13-11) a second shot on defense.

"We really clicked tonight," said McAllister. "We've been waiting all year to play a game like that. I've seen it in practice, but we have a young team and it's been hard for us to put it all together during a game."

Deon Troupe and Justin Barnaky led the way for the Mustangs. Troupe scored 16 of his 23 points in the first half, dominating the Miners inside. Barnaky swished five three-pointers in the second half, taking advantage of openings created when the Miners tried to focus on Troupe.

Defensively, Northside Christian (21-8) used a box-and-one in an attempt to stop the Miners Carey Palmore. Palmore knocked in seven three-pointers in a game last week, but managed just three against the Mustangs.

"It was important for us to take that shot away from him (Palmore)," McAllister said.

The Mustangs scored the first seven points of the second half to stretch their lead to 16. Barnaky, Andy Park, and Geoff Patterson sparked the Mustangs in the fourth quarter, turning the game into a rout. Northside's biggest lead was 30 with three minutes left.

No. 10-ranked Northside advances to the regional semifinals on Tuesday against No. 2 North Palm Beach Benjamin. -- KEN SMITH

Canterbury routed

TAMPA -- Bayshore Christian proved once again why it's ranked No. 3 in the state after cruising to a 134-52 victory over Canterbury on Thursday in a Class A, Region 3 quarterfinal.

The Faith Warriors (31-3) pounced on Canterbury early and took a 69-27 lead by halftime.

Bayshore's offensive explosion featured 11 three-pointers, 21 of 37 free throws and six players in double figures led by Brandon Harrison's 35. Jared Piazza (18), Micah Johnson (14), Kyle Knecht (14), Nick Ballengee (13) and Sam Smith (12) rounded out the double-figure scorers.

Harrison, a sophomore guard, took charge early and had 28 of his points by halftime.

"Harrison had never reached 30 points in a game, so we let him play a few minutes in the second half to try and make that mark," Bayshore coach Tom Dibble said.

Canterbury (14-17) was unable to keep up with Bayshore despite some strong performances from its starters.

The Crusaders had three players in double figures, led by John Harwell (18), Nick Sango (11) and Warren Wood (11).

The Faith Warriors resurrected their basketball program this year with an impressive 21-0 home record and by not losing a single game in Class A play.

"All season we've played as though every game is sudden death for our seniors," Dibble said. "We know that in regional play, anything can happen to a good team."

Bayshore will play Tuesday night at 7:30 in the semifinals. -- ERICA STEEBER

Lancers lose by a bucket

Sarasota Christian ended visiting Seminole Presbyterian's season with a 46-42 win in the Class A, Region 3 quarterfinals Thursday.

Sarasota Christian (22-11) will play R.J. Hendley -- a 76-58 winner over Heritage Christian -- in Tuesday's regional semifinals. Seminole Presbyterian finished 11-17. -- TIMES STAFF

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