Williston outpaces Newberry


Published: Saturday, January 27, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 27, 2007 at 12:00 a.m.

WILLISTON — Jiwan James and Todd Brown combined for 57 points as Williston held off Newberry, 92-84 in a high-scoring District 5-3A contest Friday night.

James, a University of Florida baseball signee, fired in a game-high 33 points and grabbed seven rebounds for the Red Devils, who have now won 10 of their last 11 meetings with the Panthers. Brown dropped in 24 points, including four 3-pointers and handed out seven assists for Williston (16-7, 8-2), which clinched the second-seed and an opening-round bye in the district tournament (Feb. 6-Feb. 10 at P.K. Yonge).

Xavier Woods poured in 27 points and collected five rebounds for Newberry (15-7, 6-4), which finished as the third-seed in the district and will have to face Chiefland in the first round.

"I'm pleased with the victory," Williston coach George Miller said. "That's never been a question as far as toughness and hanging in there. These kids never hit the panic button."

The Red Devils, who defeated the Panthers four times last season, never trailed during the game and held a seven-point edge after the opening quarter. James scored eight points to fuel a 10-2 second-quarter run as Williston created some breathing room and led 38-25 at the 4:31 mark. The Red Devils led by as many as 15 points during the quarter before carrying a 53-39 cushion into halftime.

Woods, who was 9-for-9 from the foul line, hit a pair from the stripe to pull Newberry to within 56-51 with 3:24 to go in the third quarter. But the Panthers wouldn't get any closer the rest of the night. The home team led by 12 points early in the final period, although the visitors cut the margin to six points down the stretch. James, who scored 16 points in the fourth quarter, netted six straight points to cap the victory for Williston.

Walter Hunt had 12 points, while Guy Brown followed with 11 points for the Panthers, who shot 23-for-31 from the free-throw line for the game. Jerrell Hopkins finished with nine points in the win for Williston, which was 13-for-24 from the line.

Although the Red Devils posted their third win over the Panthers this season they could meet for a fourth time, in the semifinals of the district tournament, just like a year ago.

"We figure we're going to break that streak eventually and we're hoping it will be the next time we see these guys," said Newberry coach Chris Baker, who recently lost one of his top guards, Antwan Ivey (hand surgery) for the season. "But we have our work cut out for us. I know I would like to get another shot at them (Williston) but we have some work ahead of us before we get to that point."

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