P.K. Yonge boys hoops tops EHS


Published: Sunday, January 27, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 27, 2008 at 12:26 a.m.

With a full parking lot and fans that crowded the stands and flowed into the hallways, the P.K. Yonge and Eastside boy’s basketball teams put on a show Saturday that was worth every cent of admission.

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P.K. Yonge's Devin Wilson reaches for the ball as Eastside's Kwann Nichols drives to basket on Saturday at P.K. Yonge.

Brandon Kruse/The Gainesville Sun

A frantic first quarter set the pace for an up-and-down game that left the teams gasping for air as time expired with the Blue Wave winning 67-59. P.K. Yonge never led by more than 10 points but never trailed in the game.

“I’m tired, just exhausted,” said P.K. Yonge senior Walade Wade, who returned after missing 10 days with an injury. “I have to go ice the ankle and take a shower. Then I’m going to sleep.”

Wade scored 17 points, but more importantly, grabbed 14 rebounds as the low-post presence the Blue Wave missed in his absence. Josh Snodgrass scored eight of his game-high 26 points in a first quarter that ended with the Blue Wave up 25-21.

The teams were tied at six with only 90 seconds off of the clock, forcing P.K. Yonge coach Carlos Villalobos to change to a zone defense to slow the play down.

The tactic worked, but the Blue Wave still had to adjust to Eastside’s lightning-fast transition game. The Rams (12-8) held the ball very little in the first half, opting to race back and take quick shots, keeping P.K. Yonge’s big men on their heels.

“If we didn’t get an offensive rebound, I told them ‘You’ve got to sprint back and give them nothing easy.’ ” Villalobos said. “We had to make them come down and run some offense and make it difficult for them to score.”

Eastside ended the first quarter on a 7-2 run and forced a 30-30 tie midway through the second. A P.K. Yonge 6-1 run to end the half gave it a 36-31 lead at intermission.

The Blue Wave (18-5) got their entire first-half point total from only four players. That trend didn’t change in the second half, as only six P.K. Yonge players scored. Justin Cumming’s five points was all that the bench could contribute.

The lead extended to double digits only briefly, 56-46 with 6:55 remaining, but a 6-1 Eastside run trimmed its deficit to five two minutes later. Forced to foul, the Rams put Snodgrass on the line late, where he hit 7-of-8 free throws to ice the victory in the final minute.

GAINESVILLE HIGH: The Hurricanes finished 2-1 at the Toyota Classic Basketball Tournament at Georgetown, Ky.

Greg Gantt (20 points per game) and Anthony Nwadigo led the Hurricanes (17-7) and were named to the all-tournament team.

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