Like how the Panthers were a last-minute substitute for Miami Westwood Christian (which withdrew because of transportation issues), giving them scant preparation time. Or how IMG Academy - which is comprised of players who train at The Basketball Academy at IMG Academy - was able to dress out only seven players on three consecutive nights.
Moreau also could have pointed to the home-court advantage, and the fact Bradenton Christian coasted against Cardinal Mooney 77-53 in Friday's semifinal while IMG Academy went all-out to defeat Bayshore 68-64.
But after watching senior Jameson Tipping scorch his charges for 34 points (27 in the second half) and Tipping and his teammates make 10 3-point shots, Moreau lavished the hosts with much-deserved credit. Tipping trained at The Basketball Academy for three seasons before transferring to Bradenton Christian.
"If we have all our guys in town and are able to prepare for two weeks, that is still a tough team to beat," Moreau said. "We told our guys that for us to have a chance, we had to play hard, play together and execute. They (the host Panthers) did all three, but we had a tough time executing."
Bradenton Christian was largely responsible. Coach David Magley has made a commitment to give nine players extensive minutes, and a huge chunk of Magley's strategy Saturday was to run the visitors into the hardwood.
A measure of the hosts' determination to play fast-break basketball for 32 minutes and crash the offensive boards with abandon: Bradenton Christian (14-1) took 89 shots, an average of 2.8 a minute.
"When you take 89 shots and score 92 points, that means you're having decent success," Magley said. "We got a good rest (Friday) and were running hard and pushing the ball all night."
The hosts also benefited from having Magley's college coach, former Kansas head man Ted Owens, in town for the tournament. Owens told Tipping to relax, use his legs more and follow through in the second half, and the 6-foot-5 Tipping (who has signed with Western Kentucky) responded with a performance to relish, going 11-for-15 after halftime. He basically could not be stopped.
Junior guard JoJo Wood also was instrumental in the victory, making three 3-pointers in the first half and scoring 21. Cole Hudson scored 12 and Spence Purnell contributed seven points and seven rebounds as the hosts kept IMG Academy big men Kenny Kadji (a University of Florida signee) and Kyryl Natashko from having their way inside. Kadji and Marius Rutkauskas scored 19 apiece for IMG Academy.
Guard Jordan Negrin did not score, but he had six assists and three steals.