GHS boys hoops tops Buchholz

Published: Friday, February 1, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, February 1, 2008 at 12:29 a.m.

Thirty seconds into the second quarter of his team’s game against visiting Gainesville, after another Buchholz foul, Bobcats boy’s basketball coach Bob Horodyski called over to Hurricane coach Tony Wise.

“How many guys do you have on your bench?” He jokingly asked his opposition. “Enough to finish this out?”

“Midnight madness, baby,” Wise responded with a grin.

Neither coach was happy after a 45-minute first quarter and a first half where the teams combined for 28 fouls. But it was Wise’s Hurricanes that put on a shooting clinic in the second half to defeat the Bobcats 82-66, giving Gainesville 20 victories in the last 27 meetings with its cross-town rival.

Starters Anthony Nwadigo and Greg Gantt opened the game on the bench after breaking a team rule earlier in the week. Nwadigo entered the game with 2:44 remaining in the first quarter, but played sparingly because of a 103-degree temperature and did not score.

Gantt was electric, knocking in a 3-point shot seconds after entering the game at the start of the second. He scored 22 of his 26 points in the second half, finishing seven off of his career high set earlier this year against Ocala Forest.

Gainesville (17-8) started the game with a 12-2 run, keeping Buchholz scoreless for the first 3:27. A plodding pace, made worse by 19 fouls, kept both teams from getting in a groove. The Hurricanes finished the quarter up 16-11.

The tempo continued, as Gainesville extended its lead to 35-21 at the half. That’s when Wise told his team that the first three minutes of the third quarter would decide the game. He was right.

The Hurricanes came out firing on all cylinders after the break. Gainesville hit 11-of-12 shots and all six free-throw attempts in a streak that started late in the second quarter and ended early in the fourth.

A 15-4 run was capped off when Gainesville’s TJ Hall stole a Buchholz inbounds pass and drove it 50 feet for a thunderous dunk to lap the Bobcats score, 50-25. The Hurricanes nearly doubled their first half point total in the third, scoring 27 in the quarter to take a 62-38 lead.

Buchholz (10-14) clawed back into the game with a 12-4 run to start the fourth, hitting five 3-pointers in the quarter. Despite the effort, the Bobcats couldn’t get within 19 points of the lead.

“When we play like that, we can be tough to beat,” said Wise, whose team finished with 21 assists on 27 field goals. “But we’ve struggled with consistency. If we can get that, then that’s what we’re looking for. Hopefully this can help us get there.”

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