The number now stands at a staggering 24.
Friday night the Bartow High School boy’s basketball team won their 24th District title in school history.
As the Jackets boys basketball team has done over the years, they did it in dominating fashion. The victim in this title game was Haines City, with BHS dropping them 82-43.
The last couple of weeks Bartow has struggled with their three-point shots; though it’s not their whole offense by any means. The outside shot helps to stop opponents from double-teaming the Jackets big guys underneath.
The game started well for Bartow as Jacket point guard Derrick Brooks nailed a three for the games first points. After a Haines City miss, Bartow’s big man Chris Perry scored inside for the early 5-0 lead. Another Haines City miss and the Jackets got it right back to Perry for two more from close range.
Bartow and Haines City traded baskets for a couple minutes before Roy’quies Graham of BHS drilled two straight three pointers, raising the Jacket advantage to 18-8.
That was as close as Haines City would get to Bartow the rest of the game. The Jackets lead ballooned to 41-26 at halftime with BHS netting five three pointers in the half.
In the second half the Jackets completely dominated Haines City, ultimately resulting in a running clock and a 82-43 win. The victory raised the BHS record to 24-3 on the season.
“It feels good. But we have bigger goals. Time to move on to the next goal,” said Perry.
“We have been working hard and it is paying off,” Perry continued.
This is the first time since BHS won the State Title in 2010 that the Jackets are back in regional play.
When asked what the current seniors learned from that championship team in 2010, Perry had this to say, “They treated us like little brothers. They showed us how to work hard and they were our idols.”
The win gained Bartow Head Coach Terrence McGriff his third district title.
“My thoughts are more for the school’s 24th district title, most in the history of Polk County boys basketball. It is also about the 2013 senior class; this is a part of their legacy.”
The Jackets will take on the Brandon Eagles (18-8) Thursday night at 7 p.m. at BHS.
Tickets will be on sale in the main office today and tomorrow for anyone who doesn’t want to stand in line at the game. The cost of admission is $7, a price set by the FHSAA.
McGriff believes his team needs to control the boards.
“Brandon is long and athletic and a good rebounding team. Ball movement and player movement against their zone defenses, while taking care of the ball is very important,” said McGriff.
“Defensively, neutralizing their big 6-foot-7-inch athlete and keeping their guards out of the lane is key. We must make them take and make contested jump shots,” McGriff stated.
McGriff expects a full house in The Hive for this game.
“The Bartow fans are always there to support us, it will be a fantastic atmosphere,” McGriff concluded.