Bradford played like it had been there before.
The Tornadoes won their first state championship in program history, leading wire-to-wire and routing Paxton 64-44 in the Class 1A title game at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland on Friday night.
Bradford (16-10) had been to the third round of the playoffs once before this season and never to a championship game. The Tornadoes played like postseason veterans, putting the clamps on Paxton’s offense and never trailing in the rout.
After Paxton (24-5) got within 9-6 with just under three minutes to play in the opening quarter, Bradford stomped on the gas pedal. Shayne Davis, Jontez Williams, Dae’jon Shanks and Robbie Simmons helped the Tornadoes close the quarter on a 10-0 run.
On defense, Bradford choked out anything Paxton had to offer.
Paxton made just four shots from the field in the second quarter and saw the Tornadoes’ lead jump to as much as 24.
Davis led Bradford with 17 points, Williams followed with 13 and Chalil Cummings 10 for Bradford.