Rams defeat 'Canes

Published: Saturday, January 8, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 8, 2005 at 12:06 a.m.
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Eastside's Tim Shankle tries to move around Gainesville's Chad Smith during the first half Friday at the Santa Fe Community College gym. Eastside won 50-44.

DAVID MASSEY/The Gainesville Sun
Everything about Eastside boys basketball is a party.
From the high-energy playing style to the raucous fans to the loud music (what other team has its own theme song?), the Rams know how to turn a game into a celebration. And Friday night, with its gym too small to hold the expected overflow crowd, Eastside took its party on the road, defeating a depleted Gainesville squad, 50-44, in front of a capacity 1,500 at Santa Fe Community College.
Despite the win, to say the atmosphere was the same late in the contest as it was early when the Rams (7-2, 5-0 in District 4-4A) opened up a 33-12 lead would be incorrect.
"We started out really excited and the kids played with a lot of emotion," said Eastside coach Pop Williams, whose team was led by Tim Shankle's 13 points and three steals. "But after a while, (the Hurricanes') young kids started to play and we stood back and relaxed. (GHS coach Tony Wise) has a good young team, and they never gave up."
It might have been easy for the Hurricanes (5-5, 1-2) to do that, especially after instances that occurred the last few weeks.
First, starting guard Rahim Barnes moved back to Alabama over the holiday break, and then at a Christmas tournament, starters Vince Brown, Jonathan Cook and Gene Martin, and reserves Kyle Kennard and Pete Atkins violated a team rule, earning a suspension for the Rams' game.
So, against Eastside, Wise dressed seven regular varsity players and two members of the GHS junior varsity (one of whom, sophomore guard Jarvis McKay, was second on the Hurricanes with nine points Friday night).
"We can't stand losing any time, but I'm really happy with the effort the guys gave," said Wise, whose team allowed the Rams only two field goals in the second half. "That's why I called a time out (in the final seconds) to tell them how proud of them I was.
"We had our own students at our own school telling us we were going to get beat by 30. The guys felt like they had something to prove and gave everything they had."
You can reach John Patton by calling 374-5074 or by e-mail at pattonj@gvillesun.com.

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