Gantt lifts 'Canes with buzzer-beater
Published: Saturday, January 6, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 6, 2007 at 12:00 a.m.
Greg Gantt scored 15 points, including the game-winning layup as time expired, to give Gainesville its ninth-straight win and a lead atop District 4-5A with a 64-63 win Friday over Eastside.
"It's just GHS-Eastside. That's what it's all about," said Hurricane coach Tony Wise, who celebrated his birthday with the win. "We've lost the last five to (the Rams). Some have been competitive, some haven't. The bottom line is that it's a big district win."
After the 'Canes (13-2, 6-1 district) took a 12-10 lead to end the first period, the Rams (12-2, 5-1) used eight third-period points by Brandon Darling to trim their 30-24 halftime deficit to 48-46 with 6:27 to play.
Back-to-back Eastside 3-pointers, from Gene Scott and Eric Williams, gave the Rams their first lead since the opening period. The lead change would be one of eight in the game, and four in the final period.
Down 54-49 with 3:43 to play, the Hurricanes reclaimed the lead with an 8-0 run that took only 53 seconds off of the clock. The run was led by two Taylor Simmons steals and four points by Chad July .
Eastside's Dante Anderson, who finished with 20 points, six rebounds and five steals, did his best to keep the Rams in the game. After failing to convert a three-point play that could have given his team the lead, Anderson stole the ball in transition and scored on a driving layup that set up another three-point opportunity. This time, he didn't miss.
That sequence was part of nine straight Anderson points that put Eastside up 63-62 with 19.6 seconds to play.
On his final shot of the night, he missed a runner that was deflected out of bounds by GHS. On the ensuing inbounds play, he was called for traveling, giving the ball to the Hurricanes with 17.2 seconds left.
After running the clock down to its final moments, Gantt slashed across the baseline and scored on a layup as time expired, sending the standing-room-only crowd at the Santa Fe Community College gym spilling onto the floor.
"I was supposed to pull up for a three," said Gantt. "I curled, and Dante (Anderson) was trailing me. Taylor (Simmons) threw a great pass, and I got a lucky shot."
Gainesville will have little time to enjoy its victory, as they host the Five Star Shootout today.
The $6 admission includes tickets to see Shores Christian vs. Santa Fe at 12:30 p.m., Keystone Heights vs. Lake City Christian at 2:15 p.m., Buchholz vs. Daytona Beach Seabreeze at 4 p.m., P.K. Yonge vs. Columbia at 5:45 p.m. and Gainesville vs. The Rock at 7:30 p.m.
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