'Canes get back to form

Published: Sunday, January 9, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 9, 2005 at 12:18 a.m.
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P.K. Yonge's Miguel Rodriguez, right, collides with Eustis' Kadero Terrell at the Checkers Shootout at Gainesville High on Saturday.

MICHAEL C. WEIMAR/The Gainesville Sun
The Gainesville boys looked like a different team Saturday night.
Heck, they were a different team. The Hurricanes welcomed back five players from suspension and toppled Winter Haven 51-44 in the Checkers Shootout.
Vince Brown, Pete Atkins, Kyle Kennard, Gene Martin and Jonathan Cook returned after violating team rules for Gainesville (6-5). The five players combined for 12 of the team's 15 points in the final quarter.
"Some of those guys stepped up really big," Gainesville coach Tony Wise said. "We'll take a win any way we can get it; pretty, ugly, it doesn't matter."
Winter Haven, the defending Class 4A runner-up, stayed close and cut the deficit to 45-44 with 41 seconds left. From there the Gainesville defense shut out Winter Haven and the 'Canes sank free throws to put the game out of reach.
The Hurricanes gained momentum midway through the game with a 24-11 run in the second and third quarters. The Blue Devils helped out by going scoreless during a 5:57 span.
"In the first quarter we started playing really selfish," Wise said. "Then we did a better job of penetrating and kicking (out for shots) in the second and third quarters."
Earlier, in a meeting of former Class 3A rivals, Eustis edged P.K. Yonge, 72-69.
The Panthers led by seven with 2:20 remaining in the game, but missed its final seven free throws as time dwindled. P.K. Yonge was equally futile from the field; the Blue Wave managed only one field goal in the final 2:48.
Mykhael Brown paced the Blue Wave (8-3), accounting for 16 points and 10 rebounds. Sophomore Willie Powers chipped in with 14 points.
In the following game, 11 Buchholz players tallied points as the Bobcats dispatched Belleview, 60-26.
The Bobcats turned a seven-point advantage after one quarter into an insurmountable 33-15 halftime lead. Blake Hyden led all Bobcat scorers with 10 points and Chris Washington added eight points and eight rebounds.
  • WILLISTON 59, OAK HALL 57: Red Devils coach Dave Kaufman says he often puts his team in a press not to pick up steals, but instead to speed the game up and force opponents into passing and ballhandling errors.
    For three-and-a-half quarters Saturday, the Eagles played relatively mistake-free basketball, but Williston kept at it. Then fatigue set in and so did turnovers for Oak Hall, as the Red Devils (6-5) overcame a seven-point fourth-quarter deficit to win their third consecutive game.
    "We play in spurts and fortunately, we were able to tire them out a bit late and take advantage," said Kaufman, whose team was led by 6-foot-4 sophomore guard Jiwan James' 20 points. "The kids were a bit frustrated (by the 19-7 foul differential) and it's tough getting together at 9:30 in the morning to get ready to play, but anytime you can get a W, you'll take one."
    The loss dropped Oak Hall to 4-7. "The guys played hard, and the effort is always there," said Eagles' coach Ryan Halstead, whose team was led by junior center McLeod Neale's 17 points. "In our basketball IQ and awareness, sometimes we fall short. Their press got us late and took us out of rhythm and affected our decision-making."
  • OCALA WEST PORT 53, UNION COUNTY 26: It was a tough day for the Tigers, who were down 22-12 at halftime and never recovered.
    Balanced West Port was led by Brandon Taylor's 13 points, while Brendan Odom scored eight points to lead Union County.
  • EASTSIDE 59, WEST ORANGE 52: When asked if it was a good weekend for the Rams, coach Pop Williams nodded and said yes.
    And why not? One night after topping district rival Gainesville, 50-44, at Santa Fe Community College, Eastside gradually overcame a 16-9 deficit after one period to take a 31-29 advantage on the Warriors on a three-pointer by Kenny Wright with 7:02 left in the third. It was a lead the Rams (8-2) wouldn't relinquish.
    "We came out trying to run against them because we knew they had a big team," said Williams, who had three players, Wright (14 points), Dontae Anderson (12) and Tim Shankle (11) score in double figures. "We wanted to get them tired and we were able to.
    "It's good for us to beat a good team like GHS and a good team like (West Orange)."
    The Warriors dropped to 9-4.
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