Blue Wave rolls Williston


P.K. Yonge's Autis Gibson, right, chases a loose ball for possession against Williston's Paul King during the third quarter at P.K. Yonge gym on Tuesday.--(Aaron Daye/The Gainesville Sun)

Aaron Daye/Staff photographer
Published: Tuesday, January 13, 2009 at 11:51 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 13, 2009 at 11:51 p.m.

With the second round having just concluded in this season’s Williston-P.K. Yonge boys basketball rivalry, Blue Wave coach Carlos Villalobos shook Red Devils’ coach David Vespignani’s hand and said “two more times... we’ll see you two more times.”

If recent history is an indicator, Villalobos was exactly right.

After Tuesday night’s 59-48 Blue Wave home victory, the regular season series ended with a split.

The same scenario occurred in 2007-08 before Williston took the District 5-3A tournament championship, beating P.K. Yonge in the final. The Blue Wave then rebounded to win the fourth and final meeting in the regional semifinals on their way to their second consecutive appearance in the FHSAA Class 3A state championship game.

Now, if they meet for a third time, it likely would be Valentine’s night at district tournament host Chiefland.

Wave on Page 5C

But if that happens, Vespignani said he hopes for a different kind of performance out of the Red Devils.

“They were just a lot better than we were,” Vespignani said. “I love our kids’ effort, but sometimes they make the dumbest plays.

“We have to play smarter.”

Williston (12-6, 6-1) entered the contest ranked fifth in the newest 3A state poll. And for the first time in numerous seasons, P.K. Yonge (8-6, 6-1) was out of the top 10, sitting 11th.

This win should help make that just a one-week speed bump.

The Blue Wave were led by senior guard Josh Snodgrass (26 points, six rebounds, four steals, three assists), an American University signee who missed the first Williston game while serving a two-week FHSAA suspension for yelling in the direction of an official.

During his time away, P.K. Yonge was beaten three times and now has as many losses as it had last season up until the state championship loss to Fort Lauderdale Pine Crest.

But as is always the case with the Blue Wave, beware the tides of March.

Since 2001, P.K. Yonge has reached four final fours, playing in three state title games. But don’t count out the athletic and physical Red Devils, who got a well-rounded game from Kingdom of the Sun all-tournament player/Brinkley tournament MVP Isaac Floyd.

He finished with 11 points, eight rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocks. And Jacques Edwards scored 11 of his team-high 13 points in the fourth quarter to turn a comfortable 45-30 Blue Wave lead into a 51-46 nailbiter.

But the Blue Wave advantage, built in great part by an eight-point second quarter from sharpshooting junior guard Tyler Courson, proved too much for Williston to overcome.

“(Courson is) our spark off the bench and probably one of our better shooters,” said Villalobos, who also got 13 points and four steals from senior guard Autis Gibson. “I’m very happy with all of the work he has put in to continue getting better.

“We need him to pick us up like that to help win games like this.”

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